In response the American Heart Association and other organizations on the restrictions of industry employees presenting original science, the Accreditation Council of Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) released this statement this evening:
In regards to the reporting of the results of research conducted by ACCME-defined commercial interests, the ACCME has determined that some accredited providers have an intensive process of peer review that ensures importance, accuracy, and validity coupled with a provider-driven process for determining the relevance of scientific research, the manner in which it will be presented, and the context in which the research results are presented. We hold that, together, these processes cause the content of the activity to be in the control of the provider – and hence, independent. In these circumstances, the research can be presented and the presenter can be an employee of an ACCME-defined commercial interest. We believe this is consistent with policy (the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support) and in the best interests of the public. This is not new policy but rather an interpretation in response to a new and specific question we were asked by a provider. We will be modifying our Web site to ensure it is current.
We have broken down the various elements of the interpretation of the policy for CME organizations:
If an organization is to include industry research presenters they will have to have:
A) Peer Review
B) Provider driven process for determining
a. relevance of the research
b. manner presented
c. context in which research results are presented
If they have this process which is controlled by the CME provider and independent than the presenter can be an employee of an ACCME defined commercial interest.
This is a welcome clarification for CME providers who conduct scientific meetings presenting original research. It is encouraging that the ACCME took early steps to define a process that allows for original science to be presented by the original author.
Medpage Today has written a nice summary of the American Heart Association’s peer review process for scientific paper, which includes blinded submissions. I encourage those working with the ACCME to watch the video and read the article.