Commercial Support Process for Certified CME Activities
Per Stanford’s Industry Interactions Policy (SIIP), Stanford School of Medicine allows designated financial commercial support of certified continuing medical education (CME) conferences and workshops and online activities if the following conditions have been met:
- Support is limited to activities in areas previously designated by Stanford Medicine for curricular development;
- Activity planning is independent of commercial control;
- Review by the CME Strategic Advisory Committee (which consists of leadership at Stanford Health Care, Stanford Children’s Health, and the School of Medicine) and the Stanford Center for Continuing Medical Education (SCCME) finds the activity to be free of commercial bias;
- Industry support is sought in collaboration with and under the auspices of the SCCME.
Note that certified Regularly Scheduled Series (e.g. grand rounds, journal clubs, etc.) may not receive commercial support.
Stanford CME will maintain absolute independence from industry. By following the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Standards for Commercial Support™, as well as the direction of the Strategic Advisory Committee (SAC), Stanford will continue to maintain its independence.
Seeking financial commercial support for Stanford certified CME activities is a multistep process involving the following:
- Work with the appropriate Stanford Center for CME (SCCME) manager (CME Conference Manager or CME Online Programs Manager) and the Grant Proposal and Award Generalist to discuss the commercial support seeking process and complete and submit an Internal Commercial Support Request for review and approval by the Strategic Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC will assess if commercial bias is present and the activity’s independence and fit within the missions of Stanford Medicine’s entities. If approved, commercial support may be sought for the educational activity.
- Review of approved Internal Commercial Support Requests by peer reviewers who are non-conflicted physicians. The SCCME will select reviewers from recommendations made by department chairs for non-conflicted physician reviewers or other sources. The peer-review will check to determine if commercial bias exists. If commercial bias is present, the Internal Commercial Support Request will be updated by the Course Director as needed to remove the bias.
- The process used for seeking commercial support will depend on how much support is requested and the number of companies involved. As there are no standard national criteria, the SCCME and the Course Director will choose the process they think will result in the most successful outcome. Greater effort is required to obtain higher support amounts. The two processes that may be used are:
- Through collaboration with a SCCME manager, the Course Director will develop the CME Application. Once the CME Application is approved, SCCME staff will develop the appropriate materials for submission as required by each company (e.g. request letter, copy of the brochure, etc.).
- With guidance from a SCCME manager and the Grant Proposal and Award Generalist, the Course Director will develop an External Commercial Support Proposal (“Proposal”) based on a template provided by the SCCME. Development of the Proposal will be under the guidance of the SCCME. A high level of partnership will be required to create a competitive proposal. This Proposal (and accompanying documents) will meet the needs of the commercial interests and serve as documentation of the activity for the ACCME. Completion of a CME Application will not be required. Once the Proposal is approved by SCCME, it will be ready for submission to companies
- SCCME will submit commercial support documents to commercial interests identified by the Course Director and SCCME.
- SCCME will manage all communication and negotiation with commercial interests related to the Commercial Support submissions.
- If a commercial entity agrees to fund a request for support, both the commercial entity and Stanford are required to sign a Letter of Agreement for Commercial Support (LOA) that specifies the commercial interest providing the commercial support and terms and conditions of that support that comply with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support. This instrument must be approved and signed by a responsible company official (who is authorized to make such commitments) and by the Associate Dean for Postgraduate Medical Education or the Director of CME. Stanford has developed a standard form for this purpose.
Industry funding can be accepted only in support of the requests approved by the SAC.
If you are looking for additional information or have questions, please contact CME’s Grant Proposal and Award Generalist.