Industry support of CME down 14%

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Total commercial support of accredited CME dropped 14% to $1 billion in 2008, according to ACCME's annual report—even as the number of physicians participating in CME activities jumped 22% to 10.6 million.

For 2007, ACCME data showed commercial support leveling off, growing a meager 1% after a decade of substantial gains. In 1998, total commercial support was just $301 million.

Total income reported by accredited providers fell 6.8% to $2.3 billion in 2008, while total expenses rose 1.6% to $1.9 billion as providers incorporated new transparency and measurement policies.

While the total number of accredited CME activities fell 10% in 2008, to 100,898, the number of hours of CME logged rose 4% to 769,439. The number of non-physician participants also rose, from 5.1 million to 6.5 million, bringing the number of all participants to 17 million.

Industry grants, accounting for 56% of CME funding, have been battered by across-the-board budget cuts at drug and device companies, along with intense scrutiny on commercial support of CME due to perceived bias.
Information on accreditation decisions and compliance findings was excluded, because it is being released in expanded form sometime in the next two months. “The ACCME believes that this additional data will empower all stakeholders of our system to assess the effectiveness and independence of the CME enterprise,” said ACCME's Murray Kopelow.
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