When it comes to the increasingly complex financial reconciliation process, the answers were a little harder to come by. One idea—to  makeit acceptable to request only a sample of full financial reconciliations for internal review—was nixed by 59 percent of the audience. Companies need to be able to show the value of what they’re supporting, explained a pharma panelist.

While the Pharmaceutical Alliance for Continuing Medical Education, or PACME, has developed a standardized budget template, 26 percent of those who responded to the PACME Benchmarking Survey said they were not considering using it, while 53 percent said they were thinking about maybe using it, and 16 percent said they weren’t but they would accept it as an alternative to their company’s template.  Only 5 percent said they were using it as published, and none said they had implemented a modified version of the template. The reason for the low adoption rate may be because the current template is hard-wired into some companies’ systems and can’t be changed without incurring a big expense, but others do allow attachments, so the lack of enthusiasm for the template largely remains a mystery.

Providers also would like to know why their grants are denied, in hopes of being able to increase their acceptance levels. But the PACME Benchmarking Survey data showed that more than 80 percent of companies surveyed weren’t planning to have those discussions, and a few were even considering decreasing the amount of information they provided about why a grant was denied. The good news, however, is that 89 percent also reported that they would have face-to-face meetings or conference calls with providers, particularly around innovative educational formats, to review outcomes and to discuss the status of approved grants.