Planning For Medical Education Programs Range From Merely Two Hours to a Whopping 400 Hours

Time spent planning events and reviewing materials depends on product type and event type, study finds

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - August 03, 2017) - Planning an in-person medical education event can take anywhere from a mere two hours to an incredible 400 hours among surveyed Top 10, Top 50, and small pharmaceutical companies, according to data recently published by business intelligence firm Cutting Edge Information.

Data published in the study, Medical Education: Innovating CME to Improve Patient Outcomes, revealed that blockbuster products require the fewest hours to plan, suggesting that events supporting blockbuster disease areas may not be as complicated to plan as common or rare disease area events.

On the contrary, preparations for in-person niche product events take the most time, the study found. Surveyed medical education teams average 195 hours planning events for niche products and 44 hours reviewing and approving materials. This is most likely because niche products tend to require more detailed or complex education about awareness, treatment options and mechanisms of action.

"Medical education teams may sometimes opt not to conduct company-driven programs simply because of the time it takes to plan them," said Natalie DeMasi, research team leader at Cutting Edge Information. "However, by understanding the different factors impacting event preparation, medical education teams may be able to better plan their resources and event calendars."

Online programs for both common and niche products take about the same amount of time -- 41 hours -- to prepare. Time spent reviewing materials and planning in-person events for common products is similar to the hours spent on online events for common and niche products -- although common in-person events require at least seven more hours to review and approve materials, on average.

Medical Education: Innovating CME to Improve Patient Outcomes, available at, includes detailed metrics, best practices and insights into four main areas of medical education:

  • Unaccredited, company-driven medical education
  • Independent medical education (IME) grants
  • Speaker recruitment
  • Speaker training

This report examines medical education investments and staffing resources, as well as activities, trends, and event planning approaches. It highlights new, exciting ways that teams are elevating the value of medical education.

For more information about Cutting Edge Information's medical affairs and medical education industry research, visit

Image Available:

Contact Information:

Elio Evangelista
Senior Director, Commercialization
Cutting Edge Information

medical education, reviewing medical education materials, planning medical education events