CME Corner

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Program Detail

Release Date: November-06-08
Credit Expiration Date: November-30-09


Lee S. Simon, MD
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Staff Physician
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Boston, MA

Bill McCarberg, MD
Founder, Chronic Pain Management Program
Kaiser Permanente
Escondido, California
Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor
University of California at San Diego
San Diego, CA

Credit Hours

Physician CME: 1 hour
Nurse Practitioner CE: 1 contact hour, 0.3 pharmacology hours


Interactive Virtual Clinic

Program Description

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome affecting mostly women between the ages of 20 and 55. It is now considered the most common cause of generalized musculoskeletal pain and affects an estimated 2% of the population. This disorder is often not well understood by either patients or clinicians. It is difficult to accurately diagnose as subjective symptoms of pain, fatigue, dysthymia, sleep disturbances, and anxiety can be indicative of an infinite number of disorders. Once diagnosed, it can be very complicated to treat because any therapeutic approach nearly always involves an intricate multimodal mix of patient education, pharmacotherapy, and nonpharmacologic interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy and exercise. These challenges are further complicated by the fact that the etiology of this disease is unclear and controversial and the patients affected by it are a heterogenous population. Various therapies, including anti-inflammatories, analgesics, and psychotropics have been used for the treatment of fibromyalgia. However, many of these have demonstrated limited efficacy. Primary care clinicians play a critical role in educating and guiding patients through their illnesses and therefore need to be familiar with the evidence supporting various pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic therapies for this multifaceted syndrome. This virtual clinic explores treatment options and offer two detailed, interactive patient case histories.

Program Developer/Facilitator


Target Audience

Designed for primary care physicians, nurse practitioners and other healthcare providers who have an interest in the management of fibromyalgia.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this educational activity, the participant should be able to:

  1. Identify the challenges faced by healthcare providers when treating fibromyalgia and its associated comorbidities.
  2. Explain the potential role of nonpharmacologic approaches to improve clinical response in patients with fibromyalgia.
  3. Describe the data supporting the clinical efficacy and safety of various pharmacologic agents.


It is the policy of AKH Inc. to ensure independence, balance, objectivity, scientific rigor, and integrity in all of its continuing education activities. The faculty must disclose to participants any significant relationships with commercial interests whose products or devices may be mentioned in the activity or with the commercial supporter of this continuing education activity. Identified conflict of interest is resolved by AKH prior to accreditation of the activity. AKH planners and reviewers have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Lee S. Simon, MD, discloses that he has been on the speakersí bureau for Pfizer Inc. He has also served as a consultant for AAI Pharma, Acusphere, Affinergy, Alder, Alimera, Alpha Rx, Altea, Anesiva, Antigenics, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Biocryst, Bionevia, CaloSyn, Cerimon, Chelsea, Chemocentryx, Combinatoryx, Cypress, Extera, Eyegate, Fidelity, Forest, Genelabs, Genzyme, GPC Biotech, Hisamatsu, IDM, LAB Pharma, Leerink Swann, Luxor, Millennium, Neuromed, Nicox, Nomura, Novartis, Nuvo/Dimethaid, Omeros, Ophterion, Paraexel, Pfizer, PLx Pharma, Proctor & Gamble, Proprius, Purdue, Puretechventures, Regeneron, Rigel, Roche, Savient, SeronoColey, Solace, Takeda, Talagen, TAP, Teva, Tigenix, and Wyeth. Dr Simon is a shareholder and member of the board of directors for Savient Pharmaceuticals.

Bill McCarberg, MD, discloses that he has been on the speakersí bureaus for Alpharma, Cephalon, Eli Lilly, Endo, King, Merck, Pfizer, and Pricare.

Credit Statements

Physician CME: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of AKH Inc. and Medical Communications Media, Incorporated. AKH Inc. is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AKH Inc. designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nurse Practitioner CE: AKH Inc. is approved as a provider of nurse practitioner continuing education by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Provider # 030803. AKH Inc. designates this educational activity for 1 contact hour which includes 0.3 pharmacology hours.

This activity should take approximately 60 minutes to complete. Credit will be awarded for scoring 70% or better on the post-test. One retake is permitted.

Commercial Support Statements

Made possible by an educational grant from Pfizer Inc.

Certificate Fee



None of the contents may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from the publisher. The opinions expressed in this activity are those of the faculty consultants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or recommendations of their affiliated institutions, the publisher, AKH Inc., or Pfizer Inc. Any medications or other diagnostic or treatment procedures discussed by the program faculty should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patientsí conditions and possible contraindications or risks, and without a review of any applicable manufacturerís product information and comparison with the recommendations of other authorities.

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