APA cuts CME ties with drugmakers

Reformers have snipped yet another financial tie between the pharma industry and doctors. The American Psychiatric Association said it's phasing out industry-sponsored educational programs and industry-funded meals at its meetings. The medical society says drugmaker sponsorship has tainted its programming with fears of bias--so it's bowing out. "We decided to keep education separate from industry support," APA President Nada Stotland told the Psychiatric Times.

The decision culminates a year-plus process of deliberation. The APA set up a working group to look at concerns that the association was too closely tied to the pharma industry. In the end, that task force voted to cut off the pharma spigot, at least to educational programs. The APA will still allow drugmakers to sponsor the associations advertising and to support fellowships and research training, and pharma will still be paying for exhibits at association meetings. Reaction from members has been positive, Stotland said. "I've gotten a few complaints and lot of happy responses," she told the magazine.

- read the Times article