Mexico's First GAME Member
Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Ing. Pedro Vera Cervera, a founding member of the Global Alliance for Medical Education, announces that this month his company, Intersistemas, SA de CV, of Mexico City, celebrates its 30th anniversary. Intersistemas is the leading publisher of continuing medical education programs in the Spanish language, including programs developed with the leading specialty societies in Mexico and translations of major CME programs from U.S. specialty societies.

At the anniversary party on October 5, many other GAME members were in attendance, including Lew Miller, founder of Intersistemas in 1970 and immediate past president of GAME; Chris West, GAME vice-president; Gonzalo López, GAME secretary, and Dennis Wentz, past board member.

Special awards were presented to Mexican specialty society representatives related to their development of CME programs over the past years.

5th Annual GAME Conference
Makes Headline News

The July/August issue of Medical Meetings magazine highlighted its FYI "hot" news section with an article reporting the historic Europe-U.S. CME credit exchange announced at GAME's 5th annual conference in New York last June.

The report described the two-year agreement between the American Medical Association and the European Accreditation Council for CME, covering live events only. Tamar Hosansky, editor of MM, wrote:

"But there are major differences between European and American medical meetings - the most striking being in the area of industry/provider relations. In Europe, for instance, pharmaceutical companies are free to pay physicians to attend conferences - a practice that violates AMA and Accreditation Council for CME guidelines. Will conferences operating under the European system still be eligible for U.S. credit?"

She quotes Dennis Wentz, MD, director of AMA's division of continuing professional development: "We had to gulp and swallow. A code of ethics is up to [each] country. We can't impose an American code of ethics. We're not completely clean here. Forty percent of attendees [at some conferences in the U.S.] are international and [pharmaceutical companies] have paid their way."

Europeans attending CME conferences in the U.S. will have to check with their own national authorities to receive credit, Hosansky wrote, and added this note from Leonard Harvey, MD, UEMS external liaison officer: "We have been highly criticized for even going this far. Some countries don't even speak to each other."

The cover of the July/August issue of MM featured another GAME player: its treasurer, Frederic S. Wilson, director of professional relations at Procter & Gamble pharmaceuticals. In the accompanying article, he answers questions on how CME providers can go about getting commercial support from the pharmaceutical industry. A quick summary of his responses in the magazine follows:

Go local if you're looking for less than $10,000, otherwise to the home office.

Medical societies will do better having a primary contact in their organization and in the company organization.

Prioritize your needs - and remember timing is important in approaching a company. Funding may be more available in the company's last fiscal quarter.

Companies can offer support beyond funding in terms of resources and recommendations - all within ACCME guidelines.

It's OK to use prescribing data to measure effectiveness, as long as its use is protected.

Enduring materials based on a live meeting can reach the majority who can't attend, and their use lowers the cost per physician. Enduring materials still have more appeal than the Internet.

Sometimes communications companies are a little easier to work with than academic CME providers - more respectful of bottom-line mentality.

U.S. CME Program Gets
Accredited in the U.K.

Dr. John Harris, president of Medical Directions, Inc., of Tucson AZ, has announced that the company's CME online program, Melanoma Education for Primary Care, has received approval from the Post Graduate Education Authority of the Royal College opf General Practitioners to offer 18 hours of approved credit.

"We believe this is the first example of a U.S.-developed Internet CME program being approved for physicians in Europe," says Dr. Harris. The program is available to physicians worldwide through the Virtual Lecture Hall ( and to British physicians for credit through

Where is E-Health
Going in Europe?

Europe is poised to be the next major player, after the U.S., in the field of Internet healthcare, writes Dan Twibell, president of NGDA Interactive Communications, Columbus, Ohio, in the August issue of Pharmaceutical Executive.

Twibell says that Internet use in Europe trails the U.S. by 18-24 months because of lack of a common language, lack of a common currency and high-priced consumer Internet access. Other problems include conflicts between European Union directives in e-commerce and those of member states, as well as a ban on direct-to-consumer advertising.

Nevertheless, Twibell suggests, there are great opportunities for consumer health education and prescription drug sales on the Internet in Europe. Internet penetration rates across Europe in 1999 were from 68% in Sweden to 6% in Spain and Portugal, averaging 24%. The growth rate averages 200%! The prevailing view, says Twibell "is that the EU will soon adopt a DTC advertising model similar to the U.S. one. Proponents believe it's futile to ban this form of communication when EU consumers can easily access U.S.-based web sites."

He mentions the following key players in European e-pharmacy operations:, partnering with

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Diseño y Programación: Educación Médica Contínua