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 A vote on December 2 will definitely influence our profession and CME

A vote on December 2, 2015 (EUCOMED) that will definitely influence our profession and continuing medical education: An editorial commentary from the Editor-in-Chief is a privilege that cannot and should not be misused as to some extent it represents the views of the readers, of the Editorial Board, of the entire interventional community, also represented by the EAPCI and PCR. However this privilege gives us also the right and the duty to inform the community we belong to.

This Expedited Editorial Publication (EEP) describes a recent discussion between representatives of our community and Eucomed, an alliance of European medical technology industries representing around 25,000 designers, manufacturers and suppliers of medical technology in Europe. Eucomed has proposed to all their members, to be ratified by a vote on 2 December 2015, to adhere to a new code of conduct that proposes a controlled framework governing industry sponsorship with the aim to withdraw direct sponsorship for all health care professionals attending conferences and aiming also to limit indirect sponsorship.

Whilst both parties agree that direct sponsorship can be perceived by the public as an issue in creating inappropriate interactions, we as physicians are concerned that Eucomed´s proposal may:

  • significantly impact the future of continued medical education (CME),
  • create major restrictions for smaller meetings and
  • severely impact larger conferences

The phase-out of direct sponsorship as the code foresees will start on 1 January 2018. We as physicians note that there remain many unresolved aspects in the new code hence our plea for a postponement of the phase-out to 2019.

We as a medical community all agree that high quality CME is essential and therefore we believe the challenge of the future is to develop the right model and funding mechanisms so that health care professionals continue to be invited to present their scientific or clinical output at national and international meetings. After all, sharing knowledge, skills and expertise is at the heart of continued medical education and ultimately, is in the best interest of individual patient care.

Patrick W. Serruys, Editor-in-Chief, EuroIntervention
William Wijns, Chairman, PCR
Stephan Windecker, President, EAPCI