The move comes after Pfizer two years ago formed an online point of contact for all grant requestors and moved the staff responsible for authorizing independent educational grants into the medical group. Of course, the idea is undermined if glorified sales reps become medical science liasions, a practice that source say still exists at the drugmaker.
CME is under a microscope these days. Since the 2003 Office of the Inspector General guidance, marketing has had less influence on education. The percentage of funding from commercial sources has declined. And in April, the Senate Finance Committee warned that risks for fraud and abuse remain in the $2.25 billion industry.
Raising staff requirements is one way to ensure compliance with government and internal policies and procedures, the magazine notes. It may also help ensure that individuals assessing grant requests have educational expertise.
According to criteria in an online job listing, candidates for the therapeutic area education director must have five-to-seven yearsâ€™ CME experience, plus an advanced degree. Those who donâ€™t have the degree can commit to get a masterâ€™s in education within three years. These criteria, once posted on Pfizerâ€™s career site, have been taken down but are still posted on an external site called MedHunters.com.