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Study Highlights Use of Technology for Medical Education in the Pharmaceutical Industry

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – March 23, 2012. In the face of technology advances and regulatory pressures, the pharmaceutical industry is changing its approach to medical education. It's in this environment of transition that many organizations are struggling to have the right staffing, investment, and delivery platforms to provide valuable education opportunities for healthcare practitioners.

To inform medical education leaders on current approaches to medical education group size, service-levels, resources, and program deployment, research and consulting firm Best Practices®, LLC has published new research study, "Professional Medical Education Excellence: Structures, Resources, Services & Performance Levels to Optimize Pharmaceutical Education Groups." The study - which provides segments for both pharmaceutical and medical device leaders - presents medical education leaders’ perspective on current and future trends for staffing, investment, and technology for both sectors.

Some of the findings of the study include:

  • Technology-based programs will increase in the next two years in both pharma and device sectors. However, 61 percent of pharma participants project increases of 10 percent or more, while device participants foresee an explosion with 58 percent anticipating more than 30 percent in growth. Another difference between both segments in terms of technology is the adoption of iPads/tablets into the education environment. Pharma’s investing in iPads/tablets will represent, on average, 16 percent of their technology budget over the next two years. In contrast, iPads/tablets will represent 29 percent of device technology budgets in the device sector, according to respondents. One key reason for this difference is that the iPad/tablet technology is a good fit for the animations and simulations that complement device training.
  • Performance measurement in Medical Education is a sore point for many, with no one voicing absolute satisfaction with current approaches in either pharma or device segments. Common metrics used to show value are programs conducted, attendees, and percentage of repeat attendees in different courses. Post-program surveys are also common, although many don’t view them as reliable measures

This study covers a number of topics, including the following:
  • Organizational Fit & Geographic Focus
  • Staffing Benchmarks & Program Trends
  • Roles for Key Activities & Program Deployment
  • Budget Benchmarks & Allocation Trends
  • Trends & Directions

The research project included observations and insights from 40 leaders with 35 medical device and pharmaceutical companies. Participants included 14 medical education leaders from 10 medical device firms and 26 leaders from 25 biopharma companies. To learn more about this report, download a complimentary report excerpt at

Best Practices, LLC is a leading benchmarking, consulting and advisory services firm serving biopharmaceutical and medical device companies worldwide. Best Practices, LLC’s clients include all the top 10 and 48 of the top 50 global healthcare companies. The firm conducts primary research and consulting using its comprehensive proprietary benchmarking tools and analysis.

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