Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Pharma Commercial Support of Accredited CME Programs Rose About 3% in 2016

Pharma Commercial Support of Accredited CME Programs Rose About 3% in 2016 | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The pharmaceutical industry spent more on accredited continuing medical education in 2016 than it did in 2015, with spending hitting $704 million last year, up from $693 million in 2015 — a 1.5% increase.

 

[Note: If you include advertising and exhibit income - almost all of which is paid by pharma - then the year-over-year increase is more like 2.9%.]

 

In 2016, about one-quarter — 28% — of all CME investment came from the phama industry, according to an annual report from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).

 

Investment in CME from advertising and exhibits also increased modestly, by 3% over the same year-over-year period, CME providers reported.

 

Overall investment in CME programs increased slightly to $2.5 billion in 2016, up from $2.4 billion in 2015, and the number of CME events also rose in 2016 by 7%. More than half, or 54%, of all revenue generated by CME programs came from registration fees.

 

CME providers increasingly took their programming to live online formats this year, with 17% more of those kind of activities reported in 2016 compared to 2015.

 

Further Reading:

  • “Industry-funded Testosterone CME Courses Downplay Risks, Lead to Overuse in Older Men”; http://sco.lt/5eex9t
Pharma Guy's insight:

At its height in 2003, pharma support of CME totaled $971 million. Today, pharma's support is only 73% of what it was back then. Unless the increase in support picks up dramatically, it may be a very long time before we see numbers like those in 2003.

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ACCME versus PharmedOut: #Pharma Influence Over CME

ACCME versus PharmedOut: #Pharma Influence Over CME | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, director of PharmedOut (left): Dr. Graham McMahon, president and CEO of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (right)


A long-standing critic of pharmaceutical marketing practices is calling for beefing up accredited continuing medical education standards, after she traded sharply worded commentaries with Dr. Graham McMahon, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education's president and CEO, in recent issues of a BMJ ethics publication. 


The critic, Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, director of PharmedOut, a Georgetown University project that studies how marketing affects pharmaceutical prescribing practices, in December published a letter referring to CME as “commercial medical education,” arguing that the ACCME doesn't track reporting of in-kind support, such as the costs of equipment, hotel rooms or meeting spaces, or advertising and exhibits income.


Calling PharmedOut's accusations “wholly inaccurate,” McMahon countered that, “Despite the authors' rhetoric, they provide no evidence for their claims to suggest that our work to create and maintain independence in CME has been corrupted or maligned,” he said in a statement. 


The dustup followed a viewpoint co-authored by Fugh-Berman that appeared in the June 29 edition of the BMJ's Journal of Medical Ethics. Titled “Hypoactive sexual desire disorder: inventing a disease to sell low libido,” the piece examined what the authors said is one of the latest instances of “disease branding,” whereby drugmakers develop a condition while they are developing a drug for that condition.


In this case, researchers identified multiple industry-funded, accredited CME modules on hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women that took place in advance of the FDA approval in mid-2015 of the drug Addyi (flibanserin), the first prescription medication sanctioned for that condition.


Of the 14 accredited CME modules about hypoactive sexual desire disorder researchers studied, all disclosed funding from BI, the drug's owner at that time, and 12 out of 14 modules had at least one author who had financial ties to BI. 


“There are certainly women who are troubled by low libido, but there is no reliable scientific evidence that hypoactive sexual desire disorder is a real medical condition,” the researchers contended. “Invented diagnoses may outlive the drugs for which they were invented. Although Boehringer Ingelheim did not create hypoactive sexual desire disorder, the company apparently attempted to brand the condition through CME modules available years before the expected launch of flibanserin.”


They concluded their research by calling for serious consideration of banning industry sponsorship of CME.

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Total CME Revenue is Up, But Pharma Support is Down (Again) in 2013

Total CME Revenue is Up, But Pharma Support is Down (Again) in 2013 | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) 2013 Annual Report is out. Here's the data regarding total CME income and breakdown according to source of income.


The pharmaceutical industry supports CME through grants to accredited providers such as medical societies, medical schools and for-profit Medical Education Communications Companies (MECC's). It also helps finance CME through advertising and exhibiting at CME events. I include the latter in my analysis of total pharma support, which decreased slightly (0.6%) in 2013 compared to 2012 (dropping from $1,006,327,936 in 2012 to $999,791,328 in 2013). Advertising and exhibit income increased from #331.6 million in 2012 to $339.8 million in 2013.

Pharma Guy's insight:


Note: the data analyzed in this post include income received by BOTH ACCME-Accredited and ACCME-recognized State-Accredited CME providers.

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ACCME versus PharmedOut: #Pharma Influence Over CME

ACCME versus PharmedOut: #Pharma Influence Over CME | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, director of PharmedOut (left): Dr. Graham McMahon, president and CEO of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (right)

A long-standing critic of pharmaceutical marketing practices is calling for beefing up accredited continuing medical education standards, after she traded sharply worded commentaries with Dr. Graham McMahon, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education's president and CEO, in recent issues of a BMJ ethics publication. 


The critic, Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, director of PharmedOut, a Georgetown University project that studies how marketing affects pharmaceutical prescribing practices, in December published a letter referring to CME as “commercial medical education,” arguing that the ACCME doesn't track reporting of in-kind support, such as the costs of equipment, hotel rooms or meeting spaces, or advertising and exhibits income.


Calling PharmedOut's accusations “wholly inaccurate,” McMahon countered that, “Despite the authors' rhetoric, they provide no evidence for their claims to suggest that our work to create and maintain independence in CME has been corrupted or maligned,” he said in a statement. 


The dustup followed a viewpoint co-authored by Fugh-Berman that appeared in the June 29 edition of the BMJ's Journal of Medical Ethics. Titled “Hypoactive sexual desire disorder: inventing a disease to sell low libido,” the piece examined what the authors said is one of the latest instances of “disease branding,” whereby drugmakers develop a condition while they are developing a drug for that condition.


In this case, researchers identified multiple industry-funded, accredited CME modules on hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women that took place in advance of the FDA approval in mid-2015 of the drug Addyi (flibanserin), the first prescription medication sanctioned for that condition.

Of the 14 accredited CME modules about hypoactive sexual desire disorder researchers studied, all disclosed funding from BI, the drug's owner at that time, and 12 out of 14 modules had at least one author who had financial ties to BI. 

“There are certainly women who are troubled by low libido, but there is no reliable scientific evidence that hypoactive sexual desire disorder is a real medical condition,” the researchers contended. “Invented diagnoses may outlive the drugs for which they were invented. Although Boehringer Ingelheim did not create hypoactive sexual desire disorder, the company apparently attempted to brand the condition through CME modules available years before the expected launch of flibanserin.”


They concluded their research by calling for serious consideration of banning industry sponsorship of CME.

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