ESC says industry funding “essential” for CME

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Industry funding toward continuing medical education remains essential, according to a new white paper on the subject from the European Society of Cardiology published in the March 2012 issue of the European Heart Journal.

The balance between producing high-quality unbiased medical education and paying for it with grants from pharmaceutical companies has always been a delicate one.

The paper concludes: “Medical societies need to develop a constructive partnership with industry, in a transparent, productive, and ethical manner. To achieve this, the trust not only of the public but also of healthcare professionals, governments, and regulators must be retained and be respected. If the calls to ban industry support of medical associations were to be heeded before alternatives were in place, opportunities for CME would be severely compromised.”

The ESC puts forward the use of “unrestricted educational grants” as its preferred method of industry supporting CME. This is when a company gives an organization funding for a certain program but the company has no input into that program.