With compliance issues continuing to be on the forefront of the minds of medical meeting professionals, the International Pharmaceutical Congress Advisory Association (IPCAA) provided an important platform again this year for open discussion with its Annual Compliance Seminar, which took place in Zurich, Switzerland, 10-11 March 2015. IPCAA draws its membership from internationally active healthcare companies engaged in medical congresses. With keynote addresses from the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), Eucomed and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) attendees then worked in facilitated discussion groups to dig into the practical aspects of compliance when organizing international events.
Anna Frick, Global Events Governance, Novartis and IPCAA Past President, explains how the Seminar has changed over the years: “When we started four years ago it was a spin-off from earlier compliance meetings that we held for years for members-only. We identified an opportunity however to broaden the understanding of the industry codes and to create a forum for open discussion. In the beginning, many of us had limited understanding of compliance and there was a clear need to educate the delegates. Today there is a good knowledge of the codes and attendees bring practical questions that they would like to discuss.”
The background of the attendees has also changed over the years, broadening beyond IPCAA members. As of last year, IPCAA began co-operating with ETHICS, the European association representing industry compliance officers. The attendees also now include association and professional conference organisers (PCO) representatives. Understanding the prevailing climate for pharmaceutical sponsorship is essential for associations in order to build sponsorship packages that reflect the current compliance and transparency reality for pharmaceutical companies. The Seminar also provides associations with the opportunity to share their challenges with companies in a safe and open environment.
Martin N. Jensen, Head of Global Congress & Events at Lundbeck and IPCAA Co-President, explains that while the Annual Compliance Seminar is of course at the core of IPCAA activities by facilitating high level education “one of our key objectives within IPCAA is also to strengthen the partnerships with other stakeholders in providing updates on codes and regulatory issues in general. This work includes speaking at various events globally in collaboration with other associations such as IAPCO, HCEA and ICCA as well as individual organizations such as CVBs, IMEX, ICOMEX and IBTM World. Within all of these organizations, there is a constant need to get updates on current topics and we will continue to partner as long as the need is present.” You can find out more about IPCCA at www.ipcaa.org.