The European Industrial Pharmacists Group has recently had the pleasure to endorse two events organised by its members.
18th Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Congress
The first event was the 18th Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Congress, organised under the auspices of EIPG, the Pharmaceutical Group of Greece and the Panhellenic Associations of the Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics Industry, held the 6th to 8th of October, at the Zappeion Megaron of the Greek capital city Athens, a historical site that was the first to be erected specifically for the revival of the Olympic Games in the modern world, and that hosted the signing of the documents formalizing Greece’s accession to the European Economic Community in May 1979.
The key message of the congress delivered to all participants and the Greek pharmaceutical stakeholders was the unity of the sector through the establishment of a Scientific – Professional Pharmaceutical Chamber. More than 400 participants attended over 30 hours of congress lectures from over 100 speakers from the University research and education, pharmaceutical industry, community and hospital pharmacy sectors. The highlight of the congress was the opening ceremony where the Past, the Present and the Future of the Greek pharmaceutical sector were gathered to celebrate 35 years of pharmaceutical congresses in Greece. During this event, among other officials, EIPG President Claude Farrugia addressed, through a video message, a full audience hall and extended a call to pharmacists from all areas of the profession to gather and work in collaboration with each other, each retaining their own personal flavours, but rising together to face the challenge of the times.
Three symposia were also held during the congress and attracted the majority of the young audience of the congress. The oral presentations and e-posters abstracts were published in a special edition of the scientific journal “Pharmakeftiki” a quarterly edition on pharmaceutical sciences’ topics, cited at “Embase” and “Scopus” databases.
European Clinical Trial Day
The second event, held on the 13th October at the headquarters of the Lombardy Region in Milan, was the conference “European Clinical Trial Day, the future of clinical research: is the 536/14 regulation enough?”, the annual meeting organised by the Clinical Research Workgroup of Associazione Farmaceutici dell’Industria (AFI) and Regione Lombardia, under the patronage of EIPG. For the first time, this meeting was held on an international platform. Important speakers from European and extra-European countries, all experts operating in industry, research institutes, CRO’s, scientific bodies, and Ethics Committees, were invited to discuss the present and future of clinical research, of new technologies used in this field, and if and how the new European regulation can regulate these processes.
The opening speaker, EIPG President Prof. Claude Farrugia, delivered a talk, prepared in collaboration with Dr Giuseppe Recchia (SmithKline Foundation), on the latest development in clinical research to a full hall of 400 attendees, in addition to the numerous participants connected to the event in live streaming. Prof. Farrugia highlighted the ever-increasing industrial investment in clinical research, the latter becoming increasing characterised by biotechnology and the development of more complex molecules targeted to selected targets and specific genetic receptor sites. The greater direct involvement, not only of medical professionals, but also of patients in clinical studies, as well as the need for reduced timeframes for approval processes, was also emphasised.
This theme was amplified further by subsequent speakers from the competent national authorities of Italy, Spain and Ireland, as well as by EFPIA, with an emphasis on European Regulation 536/14, and its application to be able to conduct clinical trials in safe and expeditious manner. Representatives from industry and non-profit organisations also presented theirs points of view, offering suggestions on how to be prepared for the future and how to address the critical importance of new research.
The event concluded by drawing attention to the fact that even clinical research centres and Ethical Committees must organise themselves in order to have at their disposal qualified personnel and highly professional organisational structures, capable of competing with extra-European countries. The audience present participated actively, posing numerous questions that stimulated a productive and interesting discussion.
Article prepared in collaboration with Giorgos Panoutsopoulos, VP Communications EIPG, Lorenzo Cottini, chair AFI Clinical Research Group, and Giuseppe Recchia, SmithKline Foundation