Trekking across Europe in the interests of European CME

Eugene Pozniak of Siyemi Learning is trekking across Europe this week and sent this from Madrid (note Eugene and I run the European CME Forum together).

I woke this morning in Barcelona, having attended the annual meeting of the Global Alliance for Medical Education. About 60 people gathered from across Europe, US/Canada and a few from Asia (UAE, India, China) and Lisa from Australia, who is mostly based out of Singapore. The international CME community is a tight-knit group, most people in the room knew each other, and it was great to hear from this year’s programme director Don Moore, who also led us through a 1.5 day training course in how to develop educational programmes. Don is a big name in this area, especially in measuring outcomes.

As you can tell, I don’t work in MedComms directly; my activity is in Continuing Medical Education (CME) where the funding has to come from non-commercial functions (usually Medical Affairs) of the pharma companies. However, I have a background in MedComms pre-2000, and the traditional skills set of the people involved are heavily routed in MedComms. Also the MedComms agencies still make up a significant chunk of my client base as they are increasingly being asked by their pharma clients about CME and we create partnerships that are compliant under CME and regulatory rules in order to develop and present CME accredited programmes across Europe, and the world.

I had a light breakfast with a final catch up with someone from a European medical society, to discuss the 6th European CME Forum (#6ECF, November, London) and how their society can be involved in the medical society pre-meeting “Day 0” activity, as well as presenting during the meeting how they approach CME. I then dealt with the overnight emails which included a reminder from Peter about today;-) and a great piece of news from the US telling us that we had a proposal accepted to work with an international medical society to look after their CME compliance and related tasks for their biannual meetings taking place in Japan in 2014 and, all being well, Latin America in 2016. There’s a strike by French air traffic control today, and many people were having a tough time getting out of Barcelona. Luckily my next journey was by train to Madrid, for a meeting with the Steering Committee of the Lupus Academy, the EULAR congress is starting today and most of them are here for that, including from Brazil and the Philippines.

Once in Madrid I met with a couple of pharma companies to discuss the Lupus Academy and explore multiple sponsorship opportunities for 2014. One was clearly not interested and the other seems to be very keen, and even though very senior in the company, kept stressing that nothing can be agreed until we have had several more meetings between now and September when final budgets for 2014 are agreed.

On the way home on Friday I will stop off during the day at the Frankfurt Airport Sheraton, for a small closed all-day meeting hosted by the CME accreditation body in cardiology, as well as discussing CME issues in cardiology, including some innovative quality measured they are looking to introduce. It will be another good opportunity to meet up with people.

I have to say that this has been a highly unusual day, and week in general. Any day last week or next week the diary is mostly full of desk work in the office in central Manchester involving a curly sandwich lunch from the local supermarket and asking the university students to keep the noise down outside our office!