Professional Development

26 - Who pays for CME?
Obviously, the planning and execution of a CME activity is costly. Funding for a CME activity can come from associations, non-profit organizations or corporations in the form of an educational grant. Those entities that provide such grants are known as "commercial supporters." Pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers can provide educational grants for CME activities, and, in fact, commercial support from these groups makes up more than half of the total income received in the U.S. by CME providers, with the rest being from other sources, advertising, exhibits or registration fees. Financial support from the pharmaceutical industry, of course, raises many issues regarding objectivity and conflicts of interest, but, as explained later on, there are various rules and guidelines in place to ensure the independence of CME providers and minimize or eliminate any potential bias or influence over the development and content of a CME activity.