Life Science Compliance Update

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November 02, 2016

ACCME Report Released on ER/LA Opioid REMS CE Activities


The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) has recently released a data report showing the scope of continuing education (CE) activities that are offered by accredited providers within the ACCME system in support of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for Extended-Release and Long-Acting (ER/LA) Opioid Analgesics.

The report shows that 100 accredited CME providers reported 693 REMS-compliant activities educating roughly 175,000 learners since ACCME started collecting this data in 2013. The report includes information about the geographic distribution of activities, the activity types, and the percentages of activities designed and analyzed for changes in competence, performance, or patient outcomes.

Of the 693 activities, 687 were funded by the REMS Program Companies (RPC). The activities were presented in a variety of formats, with the most common being lecture or case-based discussions (see below table).


Interestingly, while the most common activity type was courses, Internet activity enduring materials drew the most participants, as evidenced below.


For the 677 ER/LA Opioid REMS-compliant activities that have already been held, 97% were designed the change competence, 82% were designed to change performance, and 5% were designed to change patient outcomes.

The distribution of locations for the presentation of live ER/LA Opioid REMS-compliant activities can be seen below. The number of activities offered in each state loosely correlates to the population of the state.


The data report is compiled with voluntary submissions of ER/LA Opioid Analgesics REMS data by accredited providers into ACCME’s Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS). PARS was launched in 2010 to streamline the collection of activity data submitted by ACCME-accredited CE providers in support of ACCME reporting requirements. PARS contains information about all the CE activities offered by all accredited providers in the ACCME system. As a service to the CME community and to the FDA, the ACCME modified PARS in 2013 to enable accredited providers to submit information specific to the REMS CE activities they provide. The 2013 modification also integrated accredited CE into this important health initiative. Activities that meet the FDA’s standards for this REMS are known as “REMS-compliant.”

The FDA REMS for ER/LA Opioid Analgesics is the first REMS to incorporate accredited CE about the risks of opioid medications as well as safe prescribing and safe use practices. The education is controlled, designed, and delivered by accredited CE providers.

The ACCME notes their appreciation for the FDA recognizing the value of accredited education and choosing to leverage the CE system to carry out such an important public health initiative.

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