Critical changes in continuing medical education: Gifts to physicians from industry

Julia V. Johnson, University of Massachusetts Medical School

At the time of publication, Julia Johnson was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Abstract

Last year the Office of Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services published detailed regulations regarding the appropriate interactions between physicians and the pharmaceutical industry. Fortunately, the American Medical Association (AMA), through an ethics subcommittee, has developed a succinct opinion statement for physicians to use to determine appropriate gifts and continuing medical education sponsored by industry. This article clarifies the regulations, reviews the history behind the governmental rules, lists the seven guidelines published by the AMA, and directs physicians to additional information on this topic.