University of Michigan is first school to prohibit drug and device manufacturers from paying for doctor's continuing education
The University of Michigan gave up as much as one million dollars per year with its decision not to allow drug and medical device manufacturers to sponsor medical meetings, conferences and seminars for doctors seeking continuing medical education (CME) credits. Dr. Bernard Lo, the lead author of a 2008 Institute of Medicine report criticizing conflicts of interest in the industry, supported the decision, affirming the belief that physicians who are paid by drug companies to speak at accredited conferences are too often "mouthpieces for their products." CME is reportedly a 2.5 billion dollar industry in the U.S., with half of that cost underwritten by manufacturers. As Dr. Michael Steinman of the San Francisco V.A. Medical Center told the New York Times, "Industry wouldn't be paying billions of dollars to do this stuff if it didn't benefit them."