Family doctors can no longer claim ritzy drug dinners as professional training
2019-02-11 from thestar.com
Canadian family doctors can no longer earn educational credits for attending swanky drug dinners, where pharmaceutical companies wine and dine physicians at some of the country’s most upscale restaurants.
The change, part of larger efforts to protect the integrity of the continuing medical education doctors are obligated to take, is outlined in a new report released by the College of Family Physicians of Canada to its more than 38,000 members.
Family doctors can no longer earn educational credits for attending fancy dinners put on by drug companies, one of several changes outlined in a new report by the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
Although doctors can still choose to attend the dinners, they will not receive credits.
“Our view is that (the dinners) are basically marketing evenings,” said Dr. Jeff Sisler, who oversees medical education programming for the College.
“We’re trying in that decision to discourage members from that kind of learning, and remind them that it is not viewed by the College as appropriate continuing professional development.”
In Ontario, physicians are required to attend continuing medical education to keep their licence in good standing.
Critics have long said that in providing professional development, pharmaceutical companies are disguising a sales pitch as education, and doctors are encouraged to prescribe a sponsoring drug maker’s product over other options.
A 2016 Star investigation exposed questionable practices at some of these dinners, where everything from the speaker to the food and wine was bankrolled by the drug company. In Toronto, the soirees included a three-course meal at Sassafraz in Yorkville.
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