2009: The Canadian Medical Association and Pfizer Canada collaborate on first-of-its kind education program for physicians

Unique collaboration aims to improve quality of health care in Canada

OTTAWA , Dec. 1 /CNW/ – The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and Pfizer Canada are pleased to announce a collaboration for a new online Continuing Medical Education (CME) program for physicians across the country.

This collaboration between the CMA and Pfizer is based on a shared belief that evidence-based continuing medical education, including online learning, improves the quality of health care in Canada by enhancing physician clinical decision-making, resulting in improved patient outcomes. The collaboration also aims to focus on current education gaps and neglected topics that are of importance to physicians today, while addressing physician concerns about the accessibility of accredited courses.

“The Canadian Medical Association is pleased to join with Pfizer Canada on this evidence-based initiative to optimize the clinical care provided by Canadian doctors,” said CMA President Dr . Anne Doig . “It will help us assure online access to objective, evidence-based continuing medical education for physicians across the country which is a priority for the profession.”

With the first module dedicated to the treatment and management of Parkinson’s Disease scheduled to be available in the first quarter of 2010, the new CME program will help physicians across the country maintain competencies, while learning about new and developing areas of research/clinical practice. Additional modules will be created and added based on education gaps identified by Canadian physicians through an online polling system at cma.ca. Topics could include those of a clinical nature as well as those focused on practice optimization and physician well-being. The target audience will be primarily generalist clinicians.

“The ability to access current information and keep up with medical advances is critical to improving the quality of care provided by Canada’s physicians,” says Dr. Bernard Prigent , Vice President and Medical Director, Pfizer Canada . “Pfizer has a long-standing tradition of helping Canadians live healthier, more balanced lives and this new partnership with the Canadian Medical Association is just one way in which the company is finding solutions that involve more than medication.”

About the CMA-Pfizer Canada Collaboration

The Continuing Medical Education program is overseen by an Administrative Board, which consists of two staff members from the CMA, two staff members from Pfizer Canada and two members independent from the two organizations. The Administrative Board is responsible for the general oversight of the program, including implementation and evaluation. An independent Content Committee, composed of one staff member from the CMA and two outside members, is responsible for selecting specific topics for individual modules and overseeing the development of content for the modules.

Pfizer Canada provides funding for content development, which is independently created by experts from relevant National Speciality Societies or universities. Application will be made to the College of Family Physicians of Canada and/or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for accreditation. The Canadian Medical Association acts as the project secretariat and is responsible for the promotion, as well as dissemination of content.

All aspects of the collaboration between Pfizer Canada and the Canadian Medical Association are in compliance with the CMA’s Guidelines for Physicians in Interactions with Industry and the Rx&D Guidelines for Transparency in Stakeholder Funding produced by Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies, which emphasize that education must remain separate from any form of product promotion.

About the Canadian Medical Association

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, CMA’s mission is to serve and unite the physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with the people of Canada , for the highest standards of health and health care. The CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing over 71,000 of Canada’s physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 51 national medical organizations.

About Pfizer in Canada

Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., the world’s leading biopharmaceutical company. The company is one of the largest contributors to health research in Canada . Our diversified health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world’s best-known consumer products. Every day, Pfizer Canada employees work to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. We apply science and our global resources to improve the health and well-being of Canadians at every stage of life. Our commitment is reflected in everything Pfizer does, from our disease awareness initiatives to our community partnerships, to our belief that it takes more than medication to be truly healthy.