A survey of physicians found only 9% opposed to funding for CME programs from drug and device manufacturers. Just 8% of those surveyed who participated in CME said it is biased, and nearly half said that if commercial support were eliminated, they would decrease their use of CME.
Nearly all of the 904 US physicians surveyed said they utilized CME programs to maintain and develop their medical knowledge and to keep up to date on the latest advances in their specialty.
Some in policy and medical circles have, of late, proposed banning commercial support of CME in order to eliminate perceived bias towards sponsors' products.
“While there's been debate around the value of industry-supported CME, as our study reveals, it's important to listen to the voice of the majority of physicians,” said Mark Bard, president of Manhattan Research. “Rather than pulling the plug on a vital source of CME funding, the primary beneficiaries of CME, physicians and patients, would be best served by continued improvements to course availability, offerings and content through increased collaboration among medical and academic organizations, the pharmaceutical industry, CME providers and accreditation bodies.”
The survey, conducted in the third quarter of 2008, involved a nationally-representative sample of primary care and specialty physicians, the research firm said.