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What's up with the Alliance's Standards Toolkit?

We've been hearing that not everyone is too thrilled with the Standards for Commercial Support Toolkit (available free to Alliance for CME members and at a minimal charge to nonmembers).

One gentleman, who shall remain nameless, calls it "anything but a member benefit. Among his criticisms:

  • The very first 'What you can do' in the Took Kit is 'Accept commercial support from non-profit or governmental organizations...without meeting the requirements of the Standards ....' That suggested to him that the toolkit was identying ways to help members avoid meeting requirements, not meet them.

  • The Toolkit is too confusing, i.e.: Under Standard 2, What you can do, reads "1. Include in and exclude from ...."

  • Standard 3 (I think -- a heading is missing), "Appropriate Use of Commercial Support." There's only one tool under "What you can do" and that's "Support may be given directly to the provider's educational partner or joint sponsor." Not something, this person thinks, that is a burning issue for most CME providers. Why not spell out what CME providers can and cannot ask commercial supporters to do, he asks.

  • Generally speaking, he finds the Standards toolkit cumbersome, and thinks it is excessively conservative in its interpretation of the Standards.

    What do you think?

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