IFPMA, EFPIA and PhRMA have updated their joint guidance for virtual medical society meetings
More very welcome guidance upgraded since the 2020 issue now including Hybrid meetings which are expected, by industry and societies, to be the dominant form of “congress” moving forward.
What caught our eye?
1. The new (ish) IFPMA ethos was reinforced in the document. Why do we think this is important? Well, the Ethos outlines a code based not solely on rules but one framed in; integrity, values and principles. The result? more subjective decision making o identify is something the right thing to do! If your organisation has not already defined how this impacts the part you play in the creation and planning of meetings and ensured your teams are ready then you’re behind the game …
2. Guidance is applied to international meetings, defined as medical associations/societies involving HCPs from multiple countries. National meetings are not “in-scope” we tend to use the Congress Vetting System (CVS) criteria when determining what is a national and international medical society meeting.
3. The code (international, regional or national) still applies even if they were written with in-person meetings in mind. Note sections on an events educational value, medicine promotion, certification (see ABPI clause 8 to see how the UK handles this), destination and venue selection in the case of in-person formats as a few examples of how to still apply the code. Reminder, every meeting supported by industry must include a written rationale outlining the reason industry is supporting a meeting in the rush to plan the tactic this can be overlooked.
4. The route to apply the right code and label to a meeting has been strengthened, reminding industry not to rely on medical societies / congresses to determine the applicable code to a meeting but to take that into their own hands. This is another reason why there should be a stronger link during planning between medical societies, industry and PCO’s pooling knowledge and communicating as a collective how the code applies to meetings.