CME Coalition Releases Template For Disclosure of Commercial Support on CME Materials

The CME Coalition has released a proposed design template for the disclosure of commercial support on CME materials.

Recently, we reported that the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) decided to adopt changes to their Standards for Commercial Support to prohibit the use of commercial interest logos in the acknowledgment of commercial support. Specifically, they changed the following provisions:

Standard 4.3: Educational materials that are part of a CME activity, such as slides, abstracts and handouts, cannot contain any advertising, corporate logo, trade name or a product-group message of an ACCME-defined commercial interest.
Standard 6.4: ‘Disclosure’ must never include the use of a corporate logo, trade name or a product-group message of an ACCME-defined commercial interest.

The CME Coalition took issue with the Board’s decision, but are now “working hard to ensure that its members, and other stakeholders in the community, meet the new requirements.” Their design template is intended as a voluntary guide for use by CME provider organizations to both abide by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education‘s (ACCME) ban on the use of corporate logos, while still providing commercial supporter transparency.

The proposed design consists of a white rectangular box located in the upper right corner of the material that is outlined in thin black, with plain black text. The name of the commercial supporter or supporters is identified in bold text (circled below).

CME Coalition used the following specifications in the above example, though they note this is only offered as an option:

Image dimensions: w300px, h70px

Text Font: Arial

Copy: 13px

Supporter (single): 20px

Supporter (multiple): tbd based on spacing 

“The CME Coalition and its members are committed to ensuring that continuing medical education and accredited providers provide transparency with regard to the commercial support underlying their programs,” stated Senior Advisor Andrew Rosenberg, “and we believe that this template, which we encourage all stakeholders to adopt, represents a sensible way of accomplishing that goal.”

Rosenberg continued, “Providing a standardized means of disclosure will increase learner awareness and allow CME providers and commercial supporters to handle this element of CME materials design more efficiently.”

The CME Coalition has provided a number of excellent services for CME providers over the last year. Their comprehensive Sunshine Compliance Guidefor CME events provides much needed clarity on the Sunshine Act’s tricky CME exemption for medical education providers. Earlier this month, the CME Coalition also provided a model privacy policy that CME providers should use in regards to collected learner data.

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