평생의학교육의 의사-제약회사 관계
Received: Aug 30, 2011; Accepted: Sep 16, 2011
Published Online: Sep 30, 2011
Physicians have both an ethical obligation and a right to participate in continuing medical education (CME) programs to constantly maintain and upgrade their knowledge and skills after the completion of their formal education. CME is the pharmaceutical industry’s most important marketing tool. CME is increasingly being funded by the pharmaceutical industry; currently the financial support from drug and device companies accounts for up to 60% of the costs of all accredited CME programs in the U.S. CME requirements for Korean physicians are somewhat lax at the present time, but industry sponsored CME is on the rise in Korea. With the increase in industry funded CME, there is cause for concern about potential conflicts of interest, scientific biases, and the educational quality of industry-funded CME. Physicians’ reliance on industry-funded CME has the potential to influence negatively their clinical decisions and to increase spending on prescription drugs. For these reasons, a growing number of medical institutions in the U.S. have limited or phased-out industry sponsorship of CME at their institutions. This article argues that in order to ensure the professional integrity of physicians and the process of learning in CME, physicians and pharmaceutical industries need more explicit codes of conduct and guidelines. Individual doctors should recognize the potential for the industry to influence their prescribing habits and follow the ethical principles of physician-industry relationships. Also, in order to better balance learning needs and patient concerns, physicians should have the information and skills required to make informed decisions in CME.