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J Eur CME. 2017 Jul 31;6(1):1348876. doi: 10.1080/21614083.2017.1348876. eCollection 2017.

Framework for industry engagement and quality principles for industry-provided medical education in Europe.

Author information

Medical Education Department, Eli Lilly and Company Europe, Sunningdale, UK.
Medical Education Department, Novo Nordisk, Gatwick, UK.
Medical Education Department, Janssen the Pharmaceutical Company of J&J Europe, Vienna, Austria.
Medical Education Department, Genzyme Europe BV, Naarden, The Netherlands.
Medical Education Department, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
Medical Education Department, Eli Lilly and Company Europe, Geneva, Switzerland.
Medical Education Department, UCB Biosciences, Monheim, Germany.


Lifelong learning through continuing professional development (CPD) and medical education is critical for healthcare professionals to stay abreast of knowledge and skills and provide an optimal standard of care to patients. In Europe, CPD and medical education are fragmented as there are numerous models, providers and national regulations and a lack of harmonisation of qualitative criteria. There is continued debate on the appropriate role of pharmaceutical companies in the context of medical education. Accrediting bodies such as European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education do not permit active involvement of the pharmaceutical industry due to concerns around conflicts of interest and potential for bias. However, many examples of active collaboration between pharmaceutical companies and medical societies and scientific experts exist, demonstrating high integrity, clear roles and responsibilities, and fair and balanced content. Medical education experts from 16 pharmaceutical companies met to develop a set of quality principles similar to standards that have been established for clinical trials and in alignment with existing principles of accrediting bodies. This paper outlines their proposal for a framework to improve and harmonise medical education quality standards in Europe, and is also an invitation for all stakeholders to join a discussion on this integrative model.


Lifelong learning; continuing professional development; knowledge transfer; medical education; pharmaceutical industry engagement; quality education

Conflict of interest statement

The views discussed in this publication are the views of medical education experts/specialists working in Europe within the pharmaceutical industry and are solely intended to recognise common practice across the pharmaceutical industry. The authors continue to work towards a common position through their work with the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations.

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