Report Examines CME Preferences and Habits of Medical Education Teams

Life science teams employ several different types of independent medical education providers. These providers include dedicated third parties, hospitals, professional medical societies and academic institutions. Several factors such as corporate goals, public perception, drug program type and cost influence the CME provider decision.

Over three-fourths of surveyed global medical affairs teams consider dedicated continuing medical education (CME) providers as their first choice when funding CME programs, according to a recent survey done by Cutting Edge Information. The data found that apart from dedicated CME providers, life science teams may dedicate the majority of their CME funding to hospitals or professional medical societies instead.

Equal percentages of surveyed teams consider hospitals, medical institutions, or universities (nine percent each) as their second-most funded CME provider. Roughly one-third of surveyed teams will fund a university CME program as their third choice. Fifteen percent of surveyed teams use medical societies as the most common choice to provide with CME funding.

Despite the popularity of CME providers, other surveyed medical affairs teams are reluctant to work with dedicated CME providers because of cost concerns.

For example, one Top 10 pharmaceutical company’s team does not directly work with or fund commercial medical education providers, but it may work indirectly with such groups if they are part of a larger CME initiative.

The type of product may strongly affect the CME provider decision. When a drug has a large patient population, teams often have more non-dedicated CME options than companies with rare disease products. Due to the scarcity of data and smaller potential audience size, fewer medical organizations or professional groups may be willing to undertake CME programs for rare disease. This forces teams with drug programs or limited patient populations to rely on dedicated CME vendors.

“Medical education programs are a vital part of any life science team’s activities,” said Natalie DeMasi, research team leader at Cutting Edge Information. “These activities disseminate new medical information across the medical community to help increase disease awareness and expand knowledge about existing treatment options.”

The full report can be purchased here, and provides insight on discovering and implementing innovative methods for measuring medical education value and understanding key trends in internal v. external speaking staff.  

The below image highlights the different organizations to which teams most frequently provide CME funding.


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