Who’s Daniel Carlat targeting next?

Medccape is in his sights: “The popular physician website Medscape is being unmasked as nothing more than a CME industry voicebox. Of even more concern for the company, some of its CME offerings have become blatantly corrupted by their sponsors’ marketing goals.”

email

Comments are moderated before they are published. Please read the comment policy.

  • Anonymous

    Dr. Carlat once again does an excellent piece on the influence of Big Pharma in CME. However, no one, including Dr. Carlat, discusses the alternative. Currently Pharma funds most of CME. If this stops, how do we expect physicians to learn about new drugs or treatment. There are currently very few non-industry sponsored, completely independent sources of CME.
    One might ask, why would the AMA vote to ban industry sponsored CME? Could it be because the AMA wishes to provide that CME? I wonder how much that will cost?
    The public will not tolerate physicians whining about low income, but the reality is the primary care physicians (who treat patients using insurance) are struggling to survive and can not afford hunders of dollars a year for non-industry sponsored CME. The fact the Big Pharma has happily filled this void is not surprising. The bigger problem is that no one else seems willing to pitch in, and PCP’s will not likely do this on their own. If we want our generalist physicians who treat the majoriy of our citizens to up to date on the latest medical knowledge, then we want to support these efforts by providing CME. If we want this information completely unbiased, then we must be willing to provide this tax payer dollars. Though biased CME is bad, I would argue that no CME is worse.

  • Daniel Carlat, M.D.

    Actually, physicians can well afford to pay for their own education, and they should. Depending on how you choose to get your CMEs, the cost can be either minimal or maximal. In most states, docs are required to get about 25 hours of category 1 cme per year. In the subscriber-supported CME newsletter business, the going rate is about $5-$10 per unit, meaning an investment of at most $250/year (full disclosure: I own and make money from such a CME newsletter). If you choose to go the more expensive meeting route, you pay more, of course, but you also get a vacation and you can deduct your expenses. And even industry-supported seminars don’t save you that much money compared to all your travel and hotel expenses, which industry is not allowed to pay for anyway.

    Meanwhile, the fact that 50% of CME is supported by industry implies that half is not, and that’s a lot of CME that someone can afford to provide without industry funding.

  • Anonymous

    Actually I love doing CME. I do over 200 hours a year quite cheaply with some online programs, podcasts, and paid CME newletters, none of which is sponsored by Pharma.

    We don’t need Pharma for CME. The fact that they sponsor some CME is just a way for them to esert their importance, not.

  • Anonymous

    I have no problem with pharma funded CME, which I occasionally use. There is no vast conspiracy, as the pompous, grandiose Carlat claims.

    Besides, what has he ever contributed to the advancement of medical science? Patients and health professionals owe a vast debt to new developments from Carlat’s enemies: the pharma and medical technology industries.

  • R. W. Donnell

    Carlat couldn’t come up with anything wrong with Medscape CME other than to say it’s sponsored by industry. In fact, in his post he acknowledged that the content in question contained nothing inaccurate. He’s making, purely and simply, a case of guilt by association.

  • Anonymous

    No, Carlat’s 100% right. CME is a racket.

    The more they jump all over primary care docs for sticky pads and pens, the more money is going (quietly) to the higher-ups, mostly in academics, to run CME in resorts, low-level academics to get their name on worthless papers so they can buff their CV.