The Coalition for Healthcare Communication said it doesn’t oppose ACCME’s proposal to set up an independent entity for disbursal of CME funding – provided that it’s not the only game in town and CME providers don’t have to pay for it.

In a reply to the accrediting body’s call for comments, the Coalition, whose members include medical advertising and communications companies, said it was okay with such a scheme as long as it was “an adjunct to, rather than a replacement for, educational grant support as currently governed by the Standards for Commercial Support,” and that funding not favor one group of providers over another. Such an entity should not rely on fees imposed on providers, the Coalition said.

The Coalition opposes an ACCME plan under consideration that would effectively create a “pharma-friendly faculty free” designation, saying it “would have the practical effect of eliminating a large number of eminent educators from participating in accredited CME activities,” ultimately damaging medicine’s capacity to improve patient care. The ACCME has said it is considering a specific designation for programs that do not use teachers or authors “that have acted for a commercial interest in promotional and marketing activities.”