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From: Anne

Sent: Tuesday, June 09, 1998 11:14 AM

To: Lisa S

Subject: AOPA/AAOP letter

We thought you o and p list participants might like to be aware of this

situation. We welcome your comments. Lisa

June 9, 1998

Mr. Robert T. Van Hook, CAE

Executive Director, AOPA

O & P National Office

1650 King Street, Suite 500

Alexandria, VA 22314

Subject: AOPA’s rejection of all manufacturers presenting

at the September ‘98 National meeting in Chicago

Dear Bob,

We would like to respond to the information we recently received

regarding the rejection of all manufacturers’ applications to speak at

the AOPA National meeting scheduled in Chicago in September 1998.

We believe, as a manufacturer and as CPOs that this carte blanche

restriction is at very best, a poor decision. If AOPA has concerns

about the materials being presented, then a format should be set up to

define what is considered to be scientific evidence versus sales

techniques. If the exclusion of manufacturers becomes a continued

philosophy of AOPA, the manufacturers will simply ask certified

practitioners to represent them in a private fashion, thus presenting

the manufacturer’s information through individual practitioners.

In our opinion, AOPA would be far better off setting up a standard for

scientific presentations and requiring that presentors stay within those

standards. Having attended many, many, many of these meetings, both

AOPA and AAOP, I (Carl Caspers), can tell you that my personal feelings

are that the general scientific presentations are by and large,

subjective presentations. The content typically is not based on

scientific evidence when presented to our organization.

We believe that allowing manufacturers to present, using a standard,

required format would be a much more appropriate way to tell the general

manufacturers and suppliers that if they are going to contribute to

scientific evidence and presentation, that they must in fact, present

scientific information. These sessions are not to be regarded as a

sales format for their particular products.

page two

Robert Van Hook, CAE

Executive Director, AOPA

We feel that AOPA is making a mistake in skirting this situation by

eliminating manufacturers as a whole, rather than meeting them head on

and insisting that the presentation be scientific. Our common goal

should be to improve the content of scientific presentations given at

either AOPA or AAOP.

The practitioners and patients are the ones who ultimately lose out when

any individual or group cannot present their findings, because the

audience does not receive new data. Data that can be used to support

clinical decisions about component choices. This scientific data

should be made available for the following reasons:

1) practitioner education

2) patient education

3) detailing referral sources

4) justification to 3rd party payers

In summary, we would ask that you reconsider the decision that has been

made to eliminate all scientific presentations by manufacturers at AOPA

and AAOP meetings. Change the requirements for presentations and insist

that the presentations in fact, be scientific rather than sales

oriented. If a manufacturer cannot abide by these strictures, then they

(as an individual entity) should not be allowed to present at future


We appreciate your prompt response to this matter.


Carl A. Caspers, CPO Lisa M. Schoonmaker, CPO



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