CME income up, despite pharma cuts

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CME income up, despite pharma cuts
CME income up, despite pharma cuts

Drug makers trimmed CME grant-giving by about 10% in 2012, the fifth consecutive annual decrease, according to ACCME data. Commercial support totaled $662 million, down from $736 million.

The decline followed the prior year's 11% drug industry cutback. Pharma has been slicing budgets for certified education for physicians since 2008.

But revenues from registration fees and the like surged nearly 15%, last year's data show, pushing total income up by 5% to $2.3 billion. That bettered the 1% decrease in total income reported by ACCME-accredited providers the prior year.

In 2012, income from these non-pharma sources made up 58% of total income for CME providers, up from 53% in 2011. This income is defined by ACCME as participant registration fees and allocations from a CME provider's parent organization or other internal departments.

Also helping to fill the void were non-physician's participants. Nurses, PAs, residents, and other health professionals boosted CME attendance by 7%, vs. a 1% increase the year prior, outshining MDs and DOs, whose participation rose by 6%.

Data showed an evening of the CME funding picture. Commercial support accounted for 28% of total reported income, down from 33% the prior year and 50% in 2006.

Industry's grant-giving tally last year is a bit lower as it excludes in-kind support, such as when a company loans a provider a device to use for teaching purposes. The ACCME decided in 2011 not to require them to quantify the dollar value of this kind of commercial support.
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