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CMR Institute: Education Key to Physician/Representative Relationship
Date:7/10/2008

ROANOKE, Va., July 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Today's Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) code announcement to end the practice of providing non-educational materials to physicians is another step toward enhancing the value of the physician/industry representative interaction, says Jim Dutton, president of CMR Institute, a leading non-profit organization dedicated to educating and certifying industry representatives.

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Dutton says the PhRMA code revision banning the distribution of non-educational items such as pens, mugs and other "reminder" items to healthcare providers and staff, reinforces the industry's goal to educate healthcare professionals in order to benefit patients.

"Education is the key to making the representative's visit a valuable one for clinicians," says Dutton. "We believe a next step -- the adoption of uniform national certification standards -- would further demonstrate the industry's commitment to broadening the knowledge and expertise of representatives," he adds.

Dutton says a national certification validated by an independent organization would assure physicians that all certified representatives meet a baseline of science, compliance, and business knowledge. "Unbranded education that includes therapeutic knowledge, disease management, pharmacology, and patient quality-of-life issues will help representatives be a more valuable resource to physicians who have a critical need to have the most current and accurate information about medicine and advances in healthcare," Dutton says.

The PhRMA code has long encouraged undergraduate degrees in the sciences, and pharmaceutical companies provide extensive product training and professional development programs, Dutton says. "But required coursework providing more in-depth scientific knowledge and a greater understanding of the business of healthcare is a critical tool in helping pharmaceutical representatives make a more valuable contribution to the physician and ultimately to the patient," he adds.

Dutton says CMR Institute's 2007 research, which included physician focus groups and quantitative surveys, showed that more than 90 percent of physicians saw pharmaceutical representatives and placed a high value on well-educated representatives who demonstrate a high level of scientific and disease state knowledge.

CMR Institute was founded in 1966 by physicians in response to a need for increased therapeutic knowledge and industry expertise, and has educated more than 150,000 representatives from the nation's top pharmaceutical companies.

CMR Institute is an independent not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that has provided advanced education and certification and set national standards for industry pharmaceutical representatives for 42 years. Its courses and certification programs are developed by leading industry experts and distinguished healthcare professionals from prestigious universities and academic medical centers, and include content in areas such as science, disease management, ethics and business. CMR Institute's not-for-profit status allows it to continually invest its resources in its curriculum to realize its mission, which is to advance knowledge to enhance healthcare. For a virtual visit to CMR Institute, see http://www.cmrinstitute.org.


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SOURCE CMR Institute
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