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Answer 1:
After reading the case study properly it can be identified that the decision taken by Pfizer over its sponsorship regarding CME program has certain conflicts. The main conflict of interest in the CME relationship is because of involvement of financial relationship and benefits. The financial relationship among the parties creates create conflict of interest as the individuals have occasion and chances to make direct affect on the CME content. The details about the products or services can be easily manipulated in order to gain more commercial interest (Financial Relationships and Conflicts of Interest, 2012).
The ACCME also considers that financial relationships among the individuals will divide them more towards commercial benefits; this will thus, impact the actual outcome of the products or services. In order to control this conflict of interest the details of devices, agents shall be properly disclosed and shall be utilized effectively and efficiently to gain better results. The organiser of the program shall also plan or develop a process that shall help in resolving the conflict of interest before starting the education activity (Financial Relationships and Conflicts of Interest, 2012).
Answer 2:
The CME program run by various organizations are basically a promotional tool through which they are able to create awareness about their products. The CME programs help the companies in educating the doctors about the products and services; these programs help the company in creating positive response for their products. Thus, the doctor might be or might not get influenced but a better picture and analysis have proven the facts that are getting influenced by the promotional tactics (Steinman & Baron, 2007).
The doctors are likely to get influenced by such promotional tools as it involves huge amount of money, gifts, schemes, etc. The doctors are offered huge share for prescribing the products or services to the patients. The doctors are further provided with various other supports also like tours, machines and other support which also attract the doctors towards the product or services. The influence of the program on the doctor is completely dependent on the way the doctor look at the promotional tactics. Thus, the influence of the promotional tactics by the CME program has impact on the doctor the mindset. The final decision lies in the hand of the doctor that is the way he/she takes the promotional tactics (Steinman & Baron, 2007).
Answer 3:
The pharmaceutical companies organize such events to create awareness about their products and services. The companies besides training the doctors and updating the knowledge of the doctors also organize such events to promote their products. After going through the case properly it can be analyzed that the companies has a right to promote their products or services as they spending the money for such events. The companies generally organize such programs because they have monetary benefits. The promoting of products or services helps the companies in creating market share through influencing the doctors for their products and services. The doctors prescribe their products after learning about the features and benefits of the products or services in such events (Kopelow, 2003).
Thus, promoting of the products or services during such programs is the right of the pharmaceutical companies. The company will not avoid the opportunity of promoting the products during this occasion. The proper marketing approach and tactics will help the company in influencing the doctors; this will further help the company in generating revenues from such sources and covering the expenses of the program (Kopelow, 2003).
Answer 4:
Pfizer stated in 2008 that it will only support medical educations put on by hospitals and professional medical association in order to manage the funds. The CME program run by the company to train the doctors involve many hurdles and conflicts. The decision is thus, taken by Pfizer to overcome such hurdles. In the year 2010, Pfizer announced a grant of $3 million to Stanford University can be justified as a grant to promote postgraduate education. The dean of the university further made a note that the grant made by the company will not have any involvement of the company over the money spent within three periods (Pfizer‘s $3 Million CME Grant to Stanford University, 2010).
The money is a grant by the company and as stated by the dean it will be used by the University towards setting up unbiased program for postgraduate education. The University will utilize the money in developing new programs that had not be taken or researched in the past. Thus, the grant made by the company is under the CME program as stated by the ACCME standards. The claim made by the company and University has to face many problems as the grant is considered under CME program. Thus, no proper answer has been provided by the company for the grant to the Stanford University. The step has been taken by the company to continue medical education and will have no involvement in the grant (Pfizer‘s $3 Million CME Grant to Stanford University, 2010).
Answer 5:
Pfizer has replaced one conflict of interest with another; as it has stopped promoting events through CME program and started the approach of grant in order to promote their products or services. The amount transferred in the form of grant to Stanford University might not have any involvement of the company. The University will focus towards at least two areas in which the company Pfizer deal their products that are smoking cessation and heart disease (Richter, 2010).
The company thus, have replaced one conflict of interest with the other through the approach of grant. This might not have any direct financial relationship with the company but the other approach of grant will have the company involved in the promotion of their product indirectly. The company shall focus towards handling the approach strategically in order to avoid issues and other conflicts (Richter, 2010).
Answer 6:
The companies in order to avoid conflict of interest during CME program shall ensure that they are more concerned and focused towards training the doctors and help them in maintaining their licenses. They shall charge fees from the doctors for such program as the doctors are equally benefitted through such programs. This approach will help the company in covering the expenditures related to the program and promoting the products or services. The doctors are benefitted through the program as it helps the doctors in upgrading their knowledge and retaining the license. The doctors will also be more focused towards the program and pay more attention towards the program instead of promotional activities. On the other hand the company will also carry out the program properly as there will be no financial relationship among them.
The ACCME should set standards and guide the companies for carrying out such operations properly without any financial benefits; this will help in avoiding conflict of interest and attaining better results. The standard shall focus on training programs, imparting proper and fair information about the products or services and avoiding conflicts of interest. The proper approach will help the companies in carrying out the program effectively and efficiently generating productive results.



Financial Relationships and Conflicts of Interest. (2012). ACCME. Retrieved October 4, 2013 from http://www.accme.org/requirements/accreditation-requirements-cme-providers/policies-and-definitions/financial-relationships-and-conflicts-interest
Kopelow, M. (2003). Commercial Support for Continuing Medical Education. Retrieved October 4, 2013 from http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2003/07/medu1-0307.html
Pfizer‘s $3 Million CME Grant to Stanford University. (2010). Policy and Medicine. Retrieved October 4, 2013 from http://www.policymed.com/2010/01/pfizer-s-3-million-cme-grant-to-stanford-university.html
Richter, R. (2010). Stanford adopts new approach to continuing medical education to prevent industry influence. Retrieved October 4, 2013 from http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2010/january/cme.html
Steinman, M.A. & Baron, R.B. (2007). Is continuing medical education a drug-promotion tool? Retrieved October 4, 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2231419/