The following outlines the Division of Continuing Medical Education’s (CME) policy pertaining to the relationship with industry (pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment manufactures) who provide support for educational activities organized under the auspices of Continuing Medical Education.
Continuing Medical Education supports the policies of the following documents and uses them as a basis for this document:
- CMA Policy Guidelines for Physicians in Interactions with Industry (Updated 2007)
- Association of American medical Colleges, Guidelines for Faculty Involvement in Commercially Supported Continuing medical Education, 1992
- AMA Ethical Opinion on Gifts to Physicians, 1998 (Updated in Nov 2013)
- ACCME Standards of Commercial Support of Continuing Medical Education, 1992 (Updated 2010)
- University of Saskatchewan Conflict of Interest policy, 2002 (Updated December 2008)
1. Course Content
To ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor of the course, the content and speakers are selected by the Planning Committee, which is comprised of individuals representative of the learning audience and its educational need as well as consultants in the field. Industry representatives are not permitted to participate on planning committees. Commercial organizations have no input in the planning of the scientific program, either in the selection of topics/ speakers nor in the content of the presentations. Presentations must give a balanced view of therapeutic options, and speakers are asked to use generic rather than trade names for medications. Invitations to speak at any education event of any type emanate only from the CME office.
2. Conflict of Interest
Speakers are asked to present a balanced view of all therapeutic options, use generic names, disclose any perceived conflict of interest to the audience, and indicate if they will be discussing an unapproved or off label use of a commercial product or device. To facilitate this, they are asked to complete a Conflict of Interest form, and return it to the CME office prior to the event. In this document they are asked if in the past two years they had any “actual or potential conflict of interest in relation to this activity or presentation” or if they intend to discuss an “unapproved”, or “off label” or “investigate use of a commercial product of device”. Information from this document is included in the syllabus, at the start of their presentation. This information can also be displayed on the poster, or conveyed by the chairperson. If speakers do not return the Disclosure Document, this is also indicated. CME assists speakers in the production of audiovisual material for use in CME sponsored educational events, and covers the expenses involved. For industry-sponsored presentations, the CME office retains the right to review the content for potential conflict of interest breeches.
3. Registration Fees
A per day registration fee, established by Continuing Medical Education and reviewed on an annual basis, is charged for all conferences/ events, regardless of available educational grants. The exceptions are the more intensive, hands on courses, such as ACLS, Neonatal Resuscitation, etc. for which a higher registration fee is necessary. If a pharmaceutical company offers to sponsor the registration fee for resident, the department involved is responsible for selecting the residents who will attend. In no case is the fee paid directly to the resident. Resident fees are also often paid by their Department or the Health Authority.
4. Commercial Displays
Grants are recruited for Major Support and Display, and negotiations for space and/or social events are not influenced by industry support of the activity. Displays are set up in a room separate from the main conference/event. Although the CME program does acknowledge the financial support received, it does not identify the products of the company or companies from which the grant was received.
5. Payment of Faculty/ Visiting Speakers
University of Saskatchewan College of medicine Faculty members do not receive a payment or gifts from commercial companies while taking part in major educational events sponsored by Continuing Medical Education; however, they do receive a complimentary registration and reimbursement for conference-related expenses. The exception to this are the more intensive “hands on” courses. For these courses, the instructors are paid for their teaching services as per an established fee schedule.
Guest Faculty receive a speaker’s fee. Travel expenses are covered based on the reimbursement guidelines of the University of Saskatchewan.
Method of Payment
In compliance with the Canadian Medical Association Policy Summary Physicians and the Pharmaceutical Industry (Update 2007), #33 under the heading “Continuing Medical Education”, payments of speaker’s fees and related expenses are from the University of Saskatchewan or co-sponsoring physician organizations.
6. Payments to Registrants
Travel, lodging, fee payments, or personal expenses are not provided for registrants to attend educational events. Occasionally departments and Health Regions will submit payments for medical Students, Residents, physicians or allied health professionals in their department who have been selected by them to attend.
7. Extent of Commercial Support
Social events at educational events do not compete with, nor take precedence over, educational activities. Travel arrangements, hotel accommodations and other activities are in keeping with arrangements normally made without commercial support.
Commercial companies are required to provide an educational grant (Major Grant or Display Fee) in support of general educational event expenses, not for a particular speaker, topic or social event.
8. Funds from Commercial Sources
All funds from commercial sources are in the form an educational grant payable to the University of Saskatchewan. Speakers do not receive payment or expense reimbursement directly from commercial grantors.
A Proposed Budget and Financial Statement is prepared for each educational event, and a statement of account is made on request to co-sponsoring organizations.