Accreditation Council Also Offers Credentialing for Pharma Reps in Brazil
NEW YORK and SAO PAULO, March 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The first independently-administered program to train and credential medical affairs professionals in Brazil to better understand key principles in such areas as regulatory affairs, drug development, marketing, compliance and clinical trial design is being launched today by the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs in partnership with Interfarma, an association representing Brazil's biopharmaceutical and clinical research industries.
The Board Certified Medical Affairs Specialist Program, or BCMAS, is the only consistent, credible and verifiable educational program for Brazilian medical affairs specialists working in the biopharmaceutical industry and in academic institutions, and is consistent with BCMAS credentialing that the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs offers in the United States. Nearly 4,000 medical affairs specialists have enrolled in the BCMAS program since it was launched in the United States just over two years ago.
A credentialing program for pharmaceutical representatives and certificate programs teaching fundamental skills needed to work in various areas within the pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics industries are also being launched today in Brazil by the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs. The pharmaceutical representative program is designed to meet the requirements of Anvisa, the Brazilian health regulatory agency.
Those enrolled for BCMAS and for certain certificate programs can earn continuing medical education credits.
"Medical affairs professionals play a key role in developing and disseminating biopharmaceutical data to physicians, are perceived by many physicians as a reliable resource and are in a position to greatly influence physicians' treatment decisions," said Dr. Charles Schmidt, who heads South American operations for the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs.
"Before the launch of the BCMAS program, no uniform standard existed for training and credentialing medical affairs staff in Brazil," Dr. Schmidt added. "The lack of uniform training and standards administered by an independent third-party organization has resulted in an increased risk of medical affairs misinforming physicians. This, in turn, can put patients at risk for treatments that may cause injury and even death, while exposing biopharmaceutical companies to litigation."
Growing demands by patients in Brazil for expanded access to drugs for off-label uses makes it more important than ever that medical affairs professionals and pharmaceutical representatives have a solid grounding in issues such as professional ethics, drug abuse and fraud prevention, and rules governing interaction with practicing physicians.
Dr. Schmidt, a pediatrician with extensive experience in pharmaceutical medical affairs, clinical research and drug development, was instrumental in attaining Interfarma's endorsement for the BCMAS program. Dr. Schmidt is an attending physician and coordinator of the post-graduate program in clinical research and medical affairs at Santa Casa Medical School in Sao Paulo, and the medical manager of the Central Institute of Clinical Research at Hospital de Clínicas, also in Sao Paulo. He founded and is a former president of the Brazilian Association of Clinical Research Organizations, served as vice president of the Brazilian Association of Pharmaceutical Physicians, and has been instrumental in expanding clinical research on rare pediatric genetic diseases.
The Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs is planning to expand its programs to additional countries in South America and beyond. "We are committed to developing universal standards in medical affairs for the pharmaceutical, device and diagnostics industries," said Dr. William Soliman, the Council's chair.
About The Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs
The Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs, or ACMA, is a self-governing entity which administers medical affairs certification program content.
ACMA's mission is to establish, certify, and maintain the competencies of qualified medical and scientific professionals who have a focus in medical affairs within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
The council works collaboratively with other academic and industry organizations to ensure that there are adequate educational and professional development opportunities for professionals involved in medical affairs as well as for students with an interest in medical affairs.
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