Innovate or die. You cannot fail to be aware of rapid advances and emergence of contact center technology, Artificial Intelligence and bots, knowledge decays and better ways of working emerge. Yet when you look at our consumer experience in the real world, what we offer our MedInfo customers is positively archaic. So how do you keep up with new developments in the global world of Medical Information?

I’m lucky. I’ve got years of experience in MI, often working in cutting edge areas or exciting, confidential projects with major pharma companies or vendors. I have time & the energy to read, explore and question. But if you’re working in a company, you don’t have the luxury of this degree of exposure. So how can you replicate this experience?

Now’s the time to look at and book the DIA Medical Communications conferences – November for the EU and March 2018 for the US conferences. Both programmes are essential to my own professional development. As a MI professional, you’ll learn how to future proof your service and function plus learn from others what works and what might not!

Disclaimer Alert!!!

The UK association, PIPA (Pharmaceutical Information & Pharmacovigilance Association) also have an annual conference but it is more UK centric and also includes fascinating sessions for our wider professional development. I still love going. But for me as a global/regional expert, top priority is the DIA programme.

DIA Medical Information & Communications – Europe

Barcelona, City of Culture

Barcelona, City of Culture

The DIA EU Med Info & Comms meeting is the best way to learn about the MI world in Europe! The November 2017 conference (15-16th) is in gorgeous Barcelona. You’re not too late for the early bird registration but closes 23rd August.

But what will you gain from going?

  1. Excellent presentations on hot topics and issues that you need to know about in Europe
  2. An understanding of how the MI landscape differs between EU and US by learning more and asking questions
  3. Talk to the exhibitors and see what tools and services are around
  4. Chance to network with others like you – there are a lot of US folks doing global roles who attend especially the smaller companies. They often have a network dinner or reception
  5. Chance to ask your peers and vendors about their issues, successes and solutions
  6. Exposure to the DIA programme committee who have years of experience plus a breadth of exposure across the industry
  7. And you’ll meet me as I’m going! 😉 That is a tongue in cheek statement BTW
Gaudi House

Gaudi House

#7 should really be because it’s in Barcelona. Immersion in the European culture is an experience alone (ever seen the wonderful film Lost in Translation as an example?). And this year it’s Barcelona!!! A gorgeous city of culture, art and food.

But you might say “I’m based in the US and it’s really expensive trip…”  If you think information is expensive try ignorance! If you have a global role and are based outside the EU, like US or Asia Pacific, you need to get your head round why Europe is so complex and tricky.

There are many differences in how MI is practiced in the US affiliates versus their EU counterparts. here’s just 3 reasons:

  1. Regulations – the EU regulatory environment is complex, which is why we created the Global Regulatory Framework resource (website & book)
  2. Scale – even the smallest pharma companies would receive more MI questions in the US versus the larger EU countries like Germany and France. Scale equates to operations
  3. Countries – with 28 countries (27 if the UK ever work out how to exit EU without annihilating our business interests), healthcare systems, reimbursement models and 23 languages, getting it right has a different level of complexity!

So for anyone based in the US or outside Europe, working in a global role, attendance at the DIA conference is a must.


The DIA US MedComms Meeting

The US meeting in March gets equal #1 billing with me! So why do I go? Similar reasons including:

  • I get to hear about what’s going on in the US (and global to a minor degree)
  • The residents poster session has lots of information and buzz! You hear about projects that pharma companies and vendors are investigating.
  • And, of course, it’s a great opportunity to meet up with people I’ve know for many years as well as make new friends.

In March 2018 it’s held in Palm Springs, California so time to hit the early bird registration!

Seriously, both the US and EU DIA meetings are a must for me to keep at the cutting edge of what’s going on in the companies and MI world.

Hope to see you there.