Getting Together is Hard to Do

Restrictions on meetings of pharma execs and doctors are just part of the problem.
Mar 01, 2005
By Pharmaceutical Executive Editors

Sibyl Shalo
Riding around in a golf cart and listening to the conversations among hoteliers, convention and visitors' bureau representatives, and meeting planners can give you a good idea of what concerns people bringing together groups of pharma executives and their internal and external audiences.

In fact, at the Second Annual Pharmaceutical Meetings Invitational, co-hosted last October by Pharm Exec and Meetings & Conventions magazines, many participants from this increasingly regulated and scrutinized field felt relaxed enough to disclose the concern that their pharma business prospects are beginning to dwindle. Four- and five-star properties and resorts are still having trouble—despite their ability to negotiate affordable packages for their pharma clients—landing contracts with most Big Pharma companies. And meeting planners, especially those working in-house, are struggling to get their proposals approved by their corporate legal and/or compliance officers because, they feel, the rules seem to be getting more restrictive all the time.

So we brought in two experts—Lisa Becker, a global sourcing manager at Pfizer and Brent Saunders, a compliance officer at Schering-Plough—to address these concerns. In two articles, they offer advice to help sort out the legal, cost-control, and public-perception issues that both in-house and third-party planners must consider when developing and conducting meetings—not only for healthcare professionals, but for sales and marketing groups as well. Please let us know if there are other issues you would like to see included in future coverage of the pharma meetings industry.

Sibyl Shalo is Pharmaceutical Executive's senior editor and can be reached at

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