RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) today announced new standards for funding accredited, continuing medical education (CME) for healthcare professionals to ensure the programs result in improved patient health. Starting in 2010, GSK will raise the bar and fund only independent medical education programs that are clearly designed to close gaps in patient care, and that demonstrate support for the optimal performance of healthcare professionals.
"GSK will not support as many medical education programs, but we will continue funding those with the greatest potential to improve patient health," said Deirdre Connelly, GSK's President North America Pharmaceuticals. "Continuing medical education offers healthcare professionals important information on disease prevention, diagnosis and management. Independent and balanced information on the latest discoveries about disease and treatment options helps healthcare professionals make higher quality decisions and achieve better patient health outcomes."
GSK will invite grant applications from approximately 20 medical education providers with a documented track record of developing and delivering high quality medical education programs that have a measurable impact on improved patient health. Potential grant applicants will be limited to academic medical centers and their affiliated teaching and patient care institutions, as well as national-level professional medical associations that represent healthcare professionals responsible for the delivery of patient care. All selected providers must be directly accredited by a recognized accrediting body.
GSK will no longer fund CME by commercial providers including medical education and communication companies (MECCs) under the policy which takes effect immediately.
Funding levels for each grant will depend on the quality, scope and complexity in closing the clinical gap identified by the provider. All proposals must have an objective, well documented assessment of the need for such a program, clear learning objectives and plans to assess the impact of the educational program on healthcare professional competence, performance, and improved patient health.
"We want to enhance the quality of these programs," Connelly said. "This is one more step in our efforts to be more transparent in the way we operate our business and interact with healthcare providers."
All approved grants will continue to be posted on the company's website, www.us-gsk.com. Since February 2009, GSK has posted quarterly reports of its educational and charitable grants to US health-related organizations including hospitals, teaching institutions, managed care organizations, professional associations, and patient advocacy groups.
Other recent initiatives by GSK to increase public access to information about company decisions, funding and research include:
- Reporting fees paid to US healthcare professionals for speaker and advisory services on the company's website. GSK pays healthcare professionals for their time and services when they speak at GSK-sponsored meetings and when they provide consultancy services such as serving on an advisory board. The first report of fees paid from April 2009 will be published in the fourth quarter of 2009.
- Publicly disclosing research payments to healthcare professionals and institutions. This will start in 2010 with payments to US healthcare professionals and institutions for conduct of clinical trials. Thereafter it will be extended to payments for other types of research and to healthcare professionals and institutions outside the US.
- Publishing all clinical research results in the scientific literature. GSK will publish all our clinical research of GSK medicines either as manuscripts in peer reviewed journals or, when studies are not published, provide context and interpretation via the GSK Clinical Study Register on the internet to supplement the result summaries which are currently posted.
- Reporting clinical trial investigator names and institutions. Since January 2009, the company has published the names of investigators participating in GSK-sponsored clinical trials, together with the institutions they are working in, as part of the registers of clinical trial protocols for studies.
- Stopping all corporate political contributions globally. In the past, GSK -- in common with many companies and in full compliance with local laws -- has made a number of corporate political contributions in countries such as the US and Canada. GSK's current policy no longer allows such contributions.
GlaxoSmithKline -- one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies -- is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.
Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
Under the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that may affect GSK' s operations are described under 'Risk Factors' in the 'Business Review' in the company' s Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2007.