CME Guidelines

AAFP CME Credit Application Procedures

CME providers of Satellite CME events who are acknowledged to hold an event must apply for AAFP Prescribed CME credit and successfully complete the AAFP credit system application review process. An application for approval of live activities for CME credit will be forwarded to the CME provider and activity organizer with the approval letter. The CME application must be submitted no later than June 30, 2014 to allow adequate time to complete the review process, which can take up to one month. The CME application review fee is separate from the administrative fee. Providers must submit their activity for AAFP CME credit online. Questions about the AAFP CME credit system process may be directed to Chris Hodges at (913) 906-6000, ext. 6551 or email chodges@aafp.org.

If the program content or title originally described on the application to hold a satellite event is different from the program content submitted on the AAFP CME accreditation application form, the AAFP reserves the right to deny the application for credit and the application to hold a satellite event.

To be eligible for AAFP Prescribed credit, an Active, Supporting, or Life AAFP member must ensure relevance of content to family medicine and sign the application for AAFP CME credit.

Commercial Support Guidelines

Commercial support can contribute significantly to the quality and accessibility of CME activities. The AAFP requires that CME providers whose activities are accredited for AAFP CME credit comply fully with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support(www.accme.org). The ACCME approved the Standards in 1992 and the AAFP adopted the original Standards as its own policy in 1993 and adopted the 2004 updated Standards for current activities. Other ACCME Accreditation Policies apply.

It is the AAFP’s position that the CME provider must assure that the purpose of any CME activity it produces is designed primarily to enhance the physician’s ability to care for patients without advancing any proprietary interests of a commercial supporter. The CME provider must demonstrate appropriate behaviors in planning, designing, implementing, identifying and resolving conflicts of interest and evaluating CME activities. This includes, but is not limited to, the provisions of the Standards in their entirety. CME providers are responsible for assuring that all educational partners (activity organizers and commercial supporters) are knowledgeable about the guidelines and are committed to full compliance in their roles as well.

Absence of Commercial Bias

The CME provider must assure that the CME activity is free from commercial bias for or against any product. [Standard 5.1]

Provider Independence and Control

The CME provider is responsible for the content, quality and scientific integrity of the CME activity. [Standard 1.1]

The CME provider is responsible for the design and production of the CME activity. Commercial supporters shall not control the planning, content, or execution of the activity. [Standard 1.2]

The CME provider may request information and assistance from commercial supporters if this does not result in advancing their specific proprietary interests. Accepting advice or services from commercial supporters may not be among the conditions of providing support for the activity. [Standard 3.2]

Balance

CME activities must offer a balanced view of therapeutic options. Faculty use of generic names will contribute to this impartiality. If trade names are used, those of several companies should be used rather than only that of a single company. [Standard 5.2]

It is recommended that the provider include an index of all generic drugs in a class and their commercial names as a handout and helpful tool for participants.

Educational materials may not contain any advertising, single trade names or a product group message. [Standard 4.3]

No Commercial Materials/Sales Activities During Educational Activities

Commercial materials may not be displayed or distributed in the same room immediately before, during, or immediately after the CME activity. Representatives of commercial supporters may attend an educational activity, but may not engage in sales activities while in the room where the activity takes place. [Standard 4.2]

Management of Funds from Commercial Sources (Letter of Agreement)

Funds from a commercial source should be in the form of an educational grant made payable to the CME provider for the support of programming. The terms, conditions and purposes of such grants must be documented by a signed agreement between the commercial supporter and the CME provider. [Standard 3.4]

No other funds from a commercial source shall be paid to the director of the activity, faculty, or others involved with the supported activity. [Standard 3.9]

The CME provider may delegate the responsibility for receiving and disbursing funds from educational grants to an educational partner. However, the letter of agreement regarding the grant must be between the CME provider and the commercial supporter. The CME provider must maintain and be able to produce as documentation a full accounting of funds. [Standard 3.13]

Jointly Sponsored Activities

If the CME activity is jointly sponsored, the accredited provider is held responsible for the CME activity. Both parties may be listed as “jointly sponsored by” on promotional materials. For AAFP promotions, only the accredited provider will be listed unless otherwise requested.

Acknowledgment of Commercial Support

All commercial support must be acknowledged in activity announcements and brochures, but with no reference to specific products. [Standards 6.3, 6.4]

Commercially Supported Social Events

Commercially supported social events at CME activities may not compete with, nor take precedence over the educational event. [Standard 3.11]

The AAFP requires that Satellite CME Events limit social events to food and beverage service with taped or recorded background music. To maintain the focus of education and research being presented, entertainment, live or otherwise, or performers may not be offered before, during or after the educational event.

Disclosure of Faculty and Provider Relationships

Faculty and CME providers (staff, planning committee, etc.) must disclose to learners, prior to the educational activity, any financial relationships relevant to the activity which exist between anyone who has control over the content of the CME activity and any commercial interests. If no relevant relationships exist, the learner must be so informed. [Standards 6.1, 6.2, 6.5]

Resolving Conflicts of Interest

Providers must have a process for identifying and resolving all conflicts of interest prior to the educational activity being delivered to the learners which includes disqualification from participation for any individual who refuses to disclose relevant financial relationships or who has a conflict of interest that cannot be resolved. [Standards 2.2, 2.3]

Faculty Selection

The CME provider is responsible for selecting and confirming faculty, and for communicating the requirement that faculty comply with the ACCME Standards, the AMA CEJA Ethical Opinion on Gifts to Physicians from Industry, and all AAFP CME guidelines.

It is the provider’s responsibility to provide these guidelines to faculty with a cover letter communicating that the AAFP will monitor the CME activity to assess compliance. The letter/email must inform faculty that the AAFP reserves the right to restrict faculty from participating in future Satellite events held in conjunction with the AAFP Scientific Assembly (e.g., if they are involved in one or more events where infractions, such as commercial bias or failure to present a balanced view of therapeutic options, are cited and a trend is apparent, or if a single infraction is particularly offensive).

Contact Carly Harrington at (800) 274-2237, ext. 6546 or charrington@aafp.org for AAFP compliance criteria and monitoring procedures text to be added to faculty letter/e-mail.

Copies of the faculty confirmation letters communicating the above information must be sent to Keely McDannold at kmcdannold@aafp.org by September 12, 2014.

Key Society Leaders

Societies will not permit Key Society Leaders to participate in Satellite CME Symposia as faculty members, presenters, chairs, consultants, or in any other role besides that of an attendee who receives no honoraria or reimbursement. [CMSS Code 5.2.5.]

Unlabeled Uses of Products

When an unlabeled use of a commercial product or an investigational use not yet approved for any purpose is discussed during an educational activity, the CME provider must require faculty to disclose that the product is not labeled for the use under discussion or that the product is still investigational.

Questions?

Please contact:
Keely McDannold
kmcdannold@aafp.org
(913) 906-6297