At the National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration conference, held in October in Baltimore, CME professionals who work in the pharmaceutical industry were asked during a special session what emerging problems regarding collaboration between pharma and CME they faced.

Their top four were: lack of metrics, outcomes, and return on education in the proposals they receive; weak proposals (especially in regard to needs assessment and objectives); providers' lack of knowledge about educational design; and incomplete proposals (not thorough or timely, or not in compliance with Accreditation Council for CME rules).

Some solutions the pharma group proposed: Develop standard definitions for metrics and outcomes; include pharma's expectations for outcomes on the letter of agreement; partner with the Alliance for CME to provide education about what to do to shore up weak and incomplete proposals; and have CME providers pursue certification for expertise in adult education. They also said that CME departments should talk with graduate medical education departments to tap into expertise they have developed.