Throwing the Baby Out with the Bath Water: ACCME Bans Industry Scientists from CME

June 17, 2010 · Leave a comment

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M. Sc, MPH

A recent decision by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to not allow scientists employed by pharmaceutical, diagnostics, and devices companies to give educational presentations to physicians at medical meetings has “stirred up a bee’s nest.” In other words, if you graduated from an accredited university, conducted sound research within academia for several years, then joined a pharmaceutical company to carry on your research and were invited to a scientific congress to present your research findings to physicians, you are now being banned to do so because your work might be tainted and biased by your employer. Instead of addressing concerns of biased reporting or misrepresentation of the facts, the ACCME has decided to “throw the baby out with the bath water.”

I have known brilliant scientists who have spent their lifetimes conducting impeccable research within the halls of academia, only to be asked to come into the private sector to complete their research. Is the ACCME now saying those dedicated individuals have “sold their souls to the devil” and suddenly lost all integrity and objectivity? Have there never been researchers within academia that have falsified their data for personal gain and been exposed to the public? Should we ban all researchers in academic centers from presenting their research to physicians at ... read more »

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Ethics of Gene Therapy to Dominate Healthcare Landscape for Years to Come

June 3, 2010 · 1 comment

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M. Sc, MPH

During my recent studies for an ethics certificate, I encountered several ethical issues that stimulated my thinking about the future of healthcare.

I would like to address an ethical issue that I feel will dominate the healthcare landscape for the next several decades, in the area of genetics.

With the completion of the Human Genome Project and the mapping of mankind’s blueprint of life, we are beginning to gain a greater understanding of what makes us human. One logical extension of this “knowledge of life” is the ability to control or manipulate life itself. Gene therapy will give us the ability to not only modify our genetic predisposition to diseases, but also to enhance lifestyle abilities. No one would argue the ability to change one base-pair and eliminate Huntington’s disease from an unborn child, but how far is one willing to go to be taller, more athletic, have a gift of music, or become a genius. Who will decide what genetic alterations are acceptable to a society? And who will qualify to have such manipulations—only those that can afford to pay?

The ability to manipulate our genome is the ability to control human evolution itself. No more will we need to rely on random chance and Darwinian principles, such as natural selection–we will be able ... read more »

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