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Opioid Epidemic

Recommendation 1b: Decouple pharmaceutical industry donations to universities and professional associations from control over the content of medical education

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   Any for-profit industry given the power to shape educational programming that could increase sales of its products is very likely to take advantage of the opportunity. Universities and professional societies should therefore only accept educational funding that is donated into a common pool over which the pharmaceutical industry has no input of any kind. The nature and content of courses on prescribing should be established by scientists, clinicians, and educators free of industry ties. These principles have gathered increasing support across medicine over the last decade and are embraced in the Council of Medical Specialty Societies’ code for interactions with industry and in the Accreditation Council of Continuing Medical Education standards for continuing medical education. These principles should also be supported by accreditors of medical, nursing, dental, and pharmacy schools. Finally, it should go without saying that concealing pharmaceutical industry support of clinician or public education efforts, including conferences given by professional associations and patient advocacy organizations, is never acceptable.