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The trend toward greater transparency in physician interactions has affected how companies approach Continuing Medical Education (CME). Internally, the CME function has migrated from marketing terrain to that of medical affairs. Externally, leading companies are transferring funding from third-party vendors to teaching hospitals and medical associations.
This Best Practices, LLC study explores how North American and European biopharmaceutical companies are structuring and managing their CME functions. This research evaluates the merits of common CME structures (e.g., Centralized vs. Decentralized) in both North America and Europe, and reveals key trends in functional responsibility for CME.
CME heads can use the industry benchmarks and qualitative insights from this research to effectively position their CME group and promote a plan of action capable of fulfilling its full value potential.
Decentralized CME Structures Predominate: The majority of benchmark companies do not utilize a globally centralized function for CME management or oversight. Companies employing such centralized structures report signficant impact through increased leverage of budgets and headcount. However, decentralized structures, capable of adapting to the rapidly evolving CME marketplace, are more typical.
Medical Affairs and Communications Commonly Have CME Oversight: For both Europe and North America, CME is most often managed within the Medical Affairs or Medical Communications function. The greatest difference between the two markets is that a significant segment in Europe manages the function through Marketing or a separate operating company.
Best Practices, LLC employed a two-pronged approach to this research: 30 CME leaders and practitioners from 26 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies participated in a quantitative study and also contributed their observations through deep-dive interviews.