Pharma spending on CME rose in 2016

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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.

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).

See also: CME providers use Facebook Live to educate doctors

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.

See also: Lawmakers cut CME exemption from 21st Century Cures Act

One example is a Physician's Weekly accredited CME course called Understanding the Righteous Mind, which was streamed on Facebook Live in December. The 39-minute interactive CME course targeting physicians and nurses discussed how to better understand patients' decisions. During the session, viewers were able to post comments and receive replies in real time from the physician.

The annual report also noted that there was some consolidation among CME providers last year, with the ACCME reporting 23 fewer providers in 2016 than in 2015.

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