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CME and CME Accreditation in 5 Major European Countries
Wentz/Miller & Associates Global CME Newsletter

The survey of CME/CPPD in the major markets of Europe was conducted by Wentz/Miller & Associates' Dr. Helios Pardell, head of Spain's CME Accreditation Council. The survey results, which was presented first at the annual conference of the Alliance for CME in San Francisco, Jan. 29, are based on responses from the following CME leaders for their countries:

FRANCE - Hervé Maisonneuve, Yves Matillon
GERMANY - Martin Butzlaff
ITALY - Alfonso Negri, Riccardo Vigneri
SPAIN - Luis Pallarés, Helios Pardell
UK - Edwin Borman, Howard L. Young

The demography of each country follows:

  • FRANCE - Pop:60 million #Drs: 190,000 50% GPs 50% specialists
  • GERMANY - Pop:82.5 million #Drs: 381,000 26% GPs 74% specialists
  • ITALY - Pop: 57 million #Drs: 330,000 40% GPs 60% specialists
  • SPAIN - Pop: 40.8 million # Drs: 181,000 64% GPs 36% specialists
  • UK - Pop: 58.6 million #Drs: 168,000 45% GPs 55% specialists

The main providers of CME in the entire region are:

  • Medical Societies/Associations 34%
  • Pharmaceutical Companies 22.2%
  • Employers (Hospitals, NHS, etc.) 18%
  • Private Institutions 15.2%
  • Universities 10.6%

However, there is a wide variation by country, illustrated here:

  • FRANCE: Medsoc 70% Employers 15% Universities 15%
  • GERMANY: Medsoc 50% Pharma 20% Employers 10% Private inst 10% Universities 10%
  • ITALY: Pharma 35% Medsoc 30% Universities 20% Employers 15%
  • SPAIN: Medsoc 50% Employers 30% Private inst 15% Universities 5%
  • UK: Medsoc 35% Employers 30% Pharma 25% Private inst 5% Universities 5%

Financial backers across the 5 countries were:

  • Pharma 45%
  • Employers 30%
  • Doctors themselves 15%
  • Med societies 10%

And once again, there were variations by country:

  • FRANCE: No data
  • GERMANY: Pharma 50% Doctors 30% Medsoc 10% Employers 5%
  • ITALY: Pharma 60% Employers 15% Medsoc 15% Doctors 10%
  • SPAIN: Pharma 65% Employers 20% Medsoc 10% Doctors 5%
  • UK: Employers 75% Pharma 15% Doctors 10%

Is there a CME system and how does it work?

  • FRANCE: No
  • GERMANY: Yes, at regional level; accredits providers & events
  • ITALY: Yes, national and regional; accredits events
  • SPAIN: Yes, national and regional; accredits events (also providers in Catalonia)
  • UK: Yes, national; accredits events, providers in some cases

In Spain and the UK, the national health authority is responsible for the accreditation system, working with the medical societies (and in Spain, with universities and the ministry of education). In Germany and Italy, medical associations are responsible for the system. All 4 countries accredit both on-site and distance learning, with credits based on hours and type of event.

Is CME mandatory? Yes, in Germany, Italy and Spain - - and by law in France, though not yet implemented. In the UK, CME is part of the revalidation requirement, as it also is in Germany (though not yet implemented). In Germany, Italy and the UK, physicians are compelled to collect a minimum number of credits; in Spain there is a recommendation but no requirement. Penalty in Germany is temporary license suspension.

Finally, is there regulation of commercial sponsorship of CME? The answer is Yes -- everywhere but France, although the regulation differs in strength. This survey did not address the requirements of the European Accreditation Council for CME, which also has restrictions.

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