A group of dermatologists, including A. Bernard Ackerman, MD, director emeritus of the Ackerman Academy of Dermatopathology in New York City, has called the American Academy of Dermatology’s (AAD) "Seal of Recognition" program a "shocking conflict of interest." The AAD agreed to hold a special session on Monday during their annual meeting in San Antonio to talk about the issue— but only after a petition was circulated by their members calling for a discussion on the topic.
The AAD’s "Seal of Recognition" program, charges companies thousands of dollars for the simple "privilege" of displaying the academy’s logo on sun-protection products. Similar to a scandal involving the American Medical Association in the late 1990’s, companies must pay a $10,000 fee per product to apply for the logo and an additional $10,000 annual fee per product to use it.
"I am revolted by it," Ackerman says. "The patient should never be used as a vehicle for self-aggrandizement by either an individual physician or an association of physicians."
"This scandal is further evidence of the incestuous and unethical relationships between the dermatological community and the skin care industry," says Sarah Longwell communications director for the Indoor Tanning Association. "I’m surprised the AAD didn’t learn their lesson on this issue from the American Medical Association. When medical groups engage in pay-for-play, it negates whatever credibility they had in the first place."
[PR Newswire, February 4, 2008]