The results of two small (and yet unpublished) studies are being reported by Nature to indicate a bias is introduced by drug company funding of doctors’ compulsory continuing medical education (CME). In the first study, 17 company-sponsored CME events were compared to a published "objectivity checklist," and 9 were found to fail. In the second, CME publications were analyzed for positive/negative comments concerning all covered drugs without knowing the identity of the sponsoring company. 14 out of the 15 publications examined showed a positive bias for the drug made by the sponsoring firm.
Although there are standards requiring a firewall between pharmaceutical firms and medical-education companies, some argue it is not working. Jerome Kassirer, a former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, now at Tufts University in Medford, calls the funding "a reallocation of marketing money."
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