Updated: May 25, 2022
Wow. A powerful article in The British Medical Journal, June 4th 2021, discusses Industry funded medical CPD education - and how this is all product promotion.
commercial CME affects prescribing choices
doctors cannot detect bias
creation of diseases or expanding the market for existing diseases, is key to marketing, for example: GORD ( formerly heartburn to increase PPI sales )
omission or minimising product harms
key opinion physician leaders sell the disease (not the drug)
'Industry funded CME distorts doctors' understanding of diseases and treatments and ultimately harms patients" - Professor Fugh-Berman. Highly recommend reading the full article, BMJ 19th June.
My thoughts: In the UK most GPs and nurses don't receive any budget towards CME, so I understand the appeal of free education. However, we really need to be aware of this, especially the creation and expanding the market for existing diseases.
We don't promote this enough, but we are very proud that our own Inspired Medics digital courses are 100% pharma free. Hence we look into treatments for conditions that are not products but should be a basic right for every human, such as relaxation, meditation, nature, physical activity and good nutrition (for example, plant based diets).
We also dissect this topic of industry bias when it comes to cardiovascular disease and statins in our course 1. What are your thoughts on this issue? What needs to change, if anything? How can we fund education if no free CPD is available?