Life science companies engage in company-driven, or unaccredited, medical education programs (CMEs) for multiple reasons. But generally, these events and programs serve to educate physicians and other types of healthcare providers (HCPs) about certain mechanisms of action or disease states. These programs don’t center on a specific product and, instead, aim to prove the value of a company in a scientific manner. In many cases, company-driven medical education happens in-person, or through an interactive online format, or a combination of the two — allowing participants to attend in-person or over a video-chat application.
A key decision involved in sponsoring company-driven medical education is when to begin activities. Despite not being commercially focused, CMEs often coincide with the development of a new product, and most teams start activities during later product launch stages.
According to Cutting Edge Information’s original Medical Affairs Product Launch Series, larger percentages of niche product teams begin CME activities before common or blockbuster product teams. However, Cutting Edge Information’s latest iteration of this series, Medical Affairs Product Launch Series 2.0, suggests that product type doesn’t have as much effect as previously suggested.
Figure 1 shows the cumulative percentage of teams beginning CME activities by product type. According to the graphic:
- A percentage of teams representing each product type begin CME activity by Phase 3a. No surveyed teams begin CME activities earlier than this stage. Interestingly, niche product teams are the smallest percentages of teams to begin activities during Phase 3a.
- The largest percentage of teams supporting each product type begin their activities during Registration/Launch — 50% or greater.
Similar portions of surveyed teams begin CME activities following Phase 2. This may suggest that lifecycle stage plays a larger role in CME program timing than product type. The fact that no surveyed teams begin organizing CMEs before Phase 3a likely stems from a product — and its mechanism of action — not having gained enough evidence to justify putting on an unaccredited medical education program.
Author: Todd Middleton
Senior Research Analyst