June 15, 2009 — Today the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates rejected sweeping ethical guidelines against industry collaboration. The guidelines would have suppressed many education and marketing relationships with practicing doctors and medical researchers.
AMA Rejects Ethics Proposal to Limit Industry Collaboration
On Monday, June 15, 2009 the American Medical Association House of Delegates rejected sweeping ethical guidelines against industry collaboration. The guidelines would have suppressed many education and marketing relationships with practicing doctors and medical researchers. This vote, the second of its kind in 2 years, reaffirms the position of the AMA members that while potential conflicts of interest must be managed, collaboration with industry works for both doctors and patients.
The Coalition education committee actively resisted both proposals through direct participation in the proceedings and collaboration with powerful AMA constituents, including the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, AAFP, and the AMA Task Force for Industry Collaboration in CME.
The CEJA report will be again sent back to the Council for Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) and CME committees for revisions for possible consideration at the 2010 AMA meeting. At Sunday’s meeting of the “reference committee” that filters such proposals, several powerful AMA constituents agreed with the Coalition that the proposal would harm patient care by limiting industry involvement.
The Coalition expressly opposed provisions that would have made it “ethically preferable” for AMA members to avoid financial relationships with biopharma and device companies and a recommendation that CME providers not be “overly reliant” on industry funding.
Special thanks to Brad Bednarz, co-chair of the Education Committee, for leading the Coalition efforts, and to Thomas Sullivan of Rockpointe Communications for representing us at the AMA deliberations.
More details on the proposal, the debate, and possible next steps by the AMA can be found on the Coalition website and Tom Sullivan’s blog.