The church-and-state separation of drugmakers and continuing medical education continues apace. Now it's Stanford's medical school that's refusing to take industry funding for specific CME programs or courses. The school won't accept money or in-kind help like equipment or supplies or services. Nor will it let for-profit CME companies that take industry money deliver their courses on campus.
Stanford joins a handful of other institutions that have curtailed their industry-funded CME recently. Memorial Sloan-Kettering cut itself off of industry funding for CME, the Wall Street Journal Health Blog reminds us, and Pfizer recently came at the problem from a different direction by saying it would no longer fund CME courses offered by for-profit companies.
What will Stanford accept? Well, it will take contributions to a pool of money that the university can then allocate as it sees fit. About half a dozen other med schools have created similar pools. It's an idea that could catch on; in fact, the CME accreditation body has been considering establishing a centralized pool for industry contributions. The money would be divvied up by medical societies.