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May 5, 2015
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Americas: The Rise of the “Confibition” Raises Questions for CME Providers


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by Steven Passin

​Recently, there has been a focus on a new hybrid model of education that blurs the lines between traditional continuing medical and exhibits, something that has been called “confibition.” This has been somewhat of an organic occurrence because the effect of tighter regulation on the CME industry has forced those that rely on commercial support to fund their programs to seek more creative solutions.

As usual, this is about money vs. the regulation that purports to protect the public interest.

Education that is on the exhibit floor can not be offered for AMA PRA credit. No matter how creatively that education is presented, the key principle contained in the Accreditation Council for CME’s Standards for Commercial Support is that “live (staffed exhibits, presentations) or enduring (print or electronic advertisements) promotional activities must be kept separate from CME.” (Standard 4.2)

A parallel trend worth noting is that the amount of commercial support has been steadily dropping over the past five years consistent with tightening regulations, and those dollars are being redistributed toward promotion and exhibits/advertising.

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