Pfizer makes CME staff re-apply for jobs
Pfizer is raising the bar in terms of qualifications within its education department, portending a possible staff shakeup at the
The company is making reviewers in its Medical Education Grants department re-interview for their jobs, and candidates are being required to meet a higher standard that includes years of experience and an advanced degree, according to several people familiar with the company’s plans.
Responding to a question about the interviews, a Pfizer spokesman said in an email statement that the company is "working to increase efficiency and improve performance across its global operations" and that a "restructuring of roles and responsibilities in many areas of the company" is ongoing as it becomes a "leaner, more agile and more customer-focused organization."
“As we’ve changed what we’ve done and our processes over the last two years…we continue to think about how do we support, what do we support,” said
The bid to raise qualifications also comes as the external CME atmosphere becomes increasingly demanding for companies. Since the 2003 Office of the Inspector General guidance, marketing has had less influence on education. The percentage of funding from commercial sources has declined, as more physicians begin to pay their own way a bit more and as academic centers and societies increase their contribution. April’s Senate Finance Committee report praised the pharmaceutical sector for taking such steps as separating marketing from education but warned that risks for fraud and abuse remain in the $2.25-billion CME enterprise.
Raising staff requirements is one way to ensure compliance with government and internal policies and procedures. It may also help ensure that individuals assessing grant requests have educational expertise.
According to the criteria, spelled out in an online job listing, candidates for the therapeutic area education director must have five-to-seven years’ experience in CME, plus an advanced degree. Those who don’t have the degree can commit to get at least a master’s in education within three years. These criteria, once posted on Pfizer’s career site, have been taken down but are still posted on an external site called MedHunters.com.
"It is important to
note that jobs posted on Pfizer's website are filled based on the
individual merits of those applying, and not solely on pre-defined
criteria described online," the Pfizer spokesman, Huw Gilbert, added.
According to one source, most of the current staff do not currently measure up to the new standard. That could mean layoffs, followed by a hiring binge as new reviewers are added.