AHM Blog

Featured Post February 8, 2018

AHM C.E.O. Christine Croft: Thoughts and Concerns about New Jersey Law Limiting Prescriber Engagement with Pharmaceutical Manufacturers

On January 16, a New Jersey law titled “Limitations on and Obligations Associated with Acceptance of Compensation from Pharmaceutical Manufacturers by Prescribers” went into...

May 18, 2018

On May 1, we held our 6th annual AHM Industry Conference—a day-long opportunity for learning, networking and visioning the industry’s future.  The conference theme – Game Changers Impacting HCP Meetings and Engagements Today —...

Read More

On May 1, we held our 6th annual AHM Industry Conference—a day-long opportunity for learning, networking and visioning the industry’s future.  The conference theme – Game Changers Impacting HCP Meetings and Engagements Today — represented a focus on forward-looking thought leadership.

In a shifting regulatory and marketing environment, elevating the dialogue beyond the day-to-day issues the industry faces, gave attendees a big-picture view of the cutting edge of HCP engagements.  Increasingly, that big picture means incorporating technology in groundbreaking new ways. Trends expert and futurist Daniel Levine pointed out how some commuters in Sweden today don’t need tickets or tokens — their “fare card” is a biometric chip implanted in their hand, which the conductor simply scans.

Life sciences companies need global compliance in a fast-changing regulatory landscape, which also shapes how the industry approaches new technological elements. Sandra Graham-Mason, director of oncology marketing at Eisai, shared a look at the industry’s future — which is approaching more rapidly than we may realize. Marketers and educators need to rethink not only the tactics of HCP engagement, but the entire strategy.

Web-based and virtual programs make proactive surveillance possible, while an enterprise-wide utilization of compliance data allows for flexible knowledge-sharing and holistic accountability. An additional benefit is that enhanced tracking—including geotracking at events—provides the robust data marketing professionals need to determine ROI of various components of their educational programming. Enhanced tracking can better capture economies of scale that procurement departments can further leverage for improved cost efficiencies.

In order to be successful, though, this technology must be simple and affordable. Thanks to advancements in everything from video gaming to contactless payments, everything from augmented reality to RFID and NFC (near field communication) has become commonplace enough to incorporate in HCP educational meetings and events. From a procurement standpoint, leveraging touchpoints with vendors, providers and other partners contributes scalability, and facilitates ease of use.

Traditional silos are breaking down, as the gold standard for disseminating information comes to include healthcare providers as well as patients themselves, and real innovation involves incorporating that technology with the personal experience. In this new paradigm, the focus is not on the machines or the software, but on the HCPs and patients who have transformative encounters as a result of those tools.

Technology will never replace the power of face-to-face human interaction, but it can enhance value for participating HCPs by deepening the connections they make throughout the therapeutic life cycle. In this high-tech world, real human engagement is the key to building trust that can deliver the best health outcomes.

Contributed by:


Susan Hill, SVP, Global Products & Solutions, AHM

Susan joined AHM in June of 2013 and is responsible for the oversight and management of AHM’s Global Business Development and Solutions and Marketing team. With over nineteen years of experience in the Life Science industry, Susan brings experience in business development, product marketing, and new technology investment and optimization.

May 8, 2018

Facilitating audience engagement is a top priority at educational meetings, allowing them to network between themselves as well as with your speakers and educators. Today, there are more resources than ever that allow for...

Read More

Facilitating audience engagement is a top priority at educational meetings, allowing them to network between themselves as well as with your speakers and educators. Today, there are more resources than ever that allow for HCPs to create the kind of authentic peer-to-peer networking that drives value for the life sciences company as well as the participants.

The ubiquity of mobile technology — WiFi and smartphones, in particular — has made it especially easy to construct an environment where everyone can share their opinions and create meaningful dialogue.

Here are a few tools presenters and facilitators can use to achieve those ends, even if you don’t have a particularly tech-savvy audience base.

Throwable mics:

Get the ball rolling, so to speak, on a Q&A session with a “throwable mic.” They might look like toys, but these devices reimagine the usual wireless microphone that gets — often clumsily — passed around for audience feedback. Being able to toss the mic to the next participant who wants to make their voice heard is a fun way to foster engagement and keeps the exchange of ideas flowing. There are a few different versions: Catchbox is a soft cube with colorful covers that can be swapped out, while “Shark Tank” contender Qball is a foam ball that looks like a playground kickball; both are lightweight enough for even non-athletes to enjoy the interactivity.

SMS polling tools:

Technology that lets a presenter or facilitator survey HCPs in real time is a double win: It delivers benefits to the audience by increasing engagement, and it gives the organizer the opportunity to collect data that can be used to help determine program ROI. The premise is simple: Services like Poll Everywhere and Polldaddy let make setting up and conducting a poll in real time simple; either yes-or-no answers or write-in options can be accommodated, and the program can be integrated into presentation platforms like PowerPoint and Google Slides. Participants just need their phone to respond, which they can do via text or online — some even have the capability to collect responses via social media.

Slido is a web and app-based tool that also includes live audience polling, but it goes further than that, letting presenters or facilitators crowdsource questions, solicit feedback and engage in more free-form dialogue. This has the added advantage of drawing out even the more reticent audience members, since questions can be asked anonymously. Its dashboard can provide organizers and clients with a wealth of analytics — who’s engaging with you, and which keywords or conversation topics spark the most interest. Slido integrates with most presentation programs as well as social media and messaging platforms like Prezi, Twitter and Slack.

The best part about all of these tools is that they don’t make demands of your HCPs: They don’t have to create accounts, master new skills or jump over any of the other hurdles that can inhibit the adoption of other kinds of technological solutions, while still delivering to you high-tech solutions to age-old communication challenges.

April 26, 2018

The clock is ticking down to May 25, when the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect. The GDPR centers around the protection of personally identifiable data — a category that...

Read More

The clock is ticking down to May 25, when the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect. The GDPR centers around the protection of personally identifiable data — a category that is broader than many people outside the IT and data analytics fields realize — and this sweeping privacy law will reshape the way businesses collect, store and process data under their purview.

For life sciences companies working in a global marketplace, complying with this mandate will take an investment, but it also offers an unprecedented opportunity to consolidate data and develop new benchmarks for business operations involving that data.

The GDPR is important even for those life sciences companies based in the United States. As per the legislation, multinational companies — regardless of where they are based — that do business or have constituents in the E.U. will have to comply.

This new era of personal-data regulation is intended to give consumers more transparency into and control over how their personal data is stored and used. Companies that collect personal data on their constituents will be accountable for the accuracy and security of that data, and will be obligated to destroy it if consent is not obtained or is revoked.

The foundation of the GDPR is enhanced consent verification: Companies have to communicate clearly and receive affirmative confirmation of consent — commonly used methods such as pre-ticked check boxes are no longer sufficient. What’s more, consent must be obtained individually for specific functions; “bundling” consent will not be permitted.

For life sciences companies, one of the greatest challenges of GDPR compliance is the decentralized nature of the industry. Vendors, contractors and others may be granted access to HCP data, and according to the new legislation, life sciences companies can be held responsible for any missteps made by those third parties.

The stakes are high for companies, since running afoul of the GDPR can mean significant financial penalties. However, life sciences companies can be reassured by the following: Those of their partner companies that have already been operating under a compliance-centered paradigm are well-equipped to transition into this new era of oversight that makes personal data security paramount.

Historically, as the existing global online and cloud-based ecosystem for data management grew organically, companies collected personal data in many different ways — event registrations, surveys, social media activity, just to name a few — and for many different purposes. The E.U. has put the business community on notice that this traditional, often scattershot, approach to data management will no longer pass muster. Instead, companies must proactively take a comprehensive inventory of the personal data they keep, and centralize activity pertaining to that vast store of information.

For the life sciences industry, this means seeking out partners that offer a holistic solution to data collection, management and analysis. Rather than working piecemeal across corporate silos and geographical borders with an array of third parties, executives at life sciences companies will need to seek out firms that provide an entire suite of products and services encompassing technology, communication and analytics. More importantly, they will need to seek out firms that have demonstrated a commitment to customer satisfaction.

As with all change, the adoption of the GDPR is likely to cause some growing pains for companies that fail to plan for the significant adaptations compliance will require. The bright side, though, is that life sciences businesses that have seen the writing on the wall and taken steps to partner with firms that can execute 360-degree compliance will reap the benefit of accurate and detailed analytics-ready stakeholder information. Building this type of profile would never be possible if vital facts were spread among multiple partner companies.

What’s more, the opportunity presented by this legislation is likely to yield improvements in efficiencies and allow life sciences companies to leverage economies of scale to their financial benefit. They could reap long-term cost savings by doing away with piecemeal data management and replacing it with a consolidated, comprehensive platform.

As we look into the future, it is entirely possible that the next level of data analytics evolution will have the GDPR to thank.

Contributed by:

Frank C. Castora
Sr. Director, Global Solutions Management

Frank joined AHM in 2007 and has been delivering compliance solutions to the Life Science industry for over 10 years. He has delivered solutions for compliance-based Interactions Management and provided expertise on data integration and exchange needs for Aggregate Spend and Disclosure Reporting. Frank is currently responsible for the strategy and product management of AHM’s Global Compliance Solutions platform, CentrisDirect™, and new business intelligence and data analytics solution, CentrisIQ™.

March 21, 2018

When HCPs attend your events, they aren’t just coming for the education, although that is of course a key component. They are also there to seek knowledge from their fellow industry professionals in the...

Read More

When HCPs attend your events, they aren’t just coming for the education, although that is of course a key component. They are also there to seek knowledge from their fellow industry professionals in the audience. To that end, a strategic meetings management plan also should facilitate interactivity among participants.
For today’s multi-tasking attendees, this isn’t just a nicety; rather, peer-to-peer networking is a critical value-add that will attract professionally engaged HCPs who prioritize communication — which also just so happens to be the ideal audience for a life sciences client.
Recent studies make it clear: HCPs crave a higher level of participation in programs, so give them the opportunity to build value by connecting with their peers. Do so by incorporating pre-planned icebreaker, team-building or other collaborative activities — whether led by participating HCPs, speakers or professional facilitators — to foster the sharing of professional insights and personal experience. Engaging attendees will both make them feel valued and cultivate an environment where organic interactions can take place.
Peer-to-peer interactions depend on time and space, so make sure you allow for both. Classroom or theater-style seating might be ideal for delivering educational content, but it can make for awkward and limited conversation between participating HCPs. The right setting, though, can encourage professional camaraderie. Set aside a designated space in your venue — break areas can be ideal if they are outfitted with comfortable seating configured in zones so that attendees can face each other and enjoy a modicum of privacy while they chat.
And give them time to connect: Savvy meeting planners actually structure their schedules to allow for longer breaks between sessions specifically so attendees have time to network even after checking email, calling in for messages and taking care of other out-of-office chores.
Another way to encourage peer-to-peer activity is to give attendees tools that will help them identify like-minded participants. Depending on the particulars of your program, you might employ a color-coded system of badges, buttons or stickers that give attendees the option of identifying their skills and interests, or give them the opportunity to share this information during a facilitated icebreaker. Technology can also assist you: If you have a designated mobile app for your event, ask your vendor or developer if they can build in functionality to allow for participating HCPs to connect with one another after the program has completed.
One final note about high-tech tools: They also offer you, the organizer, the ability to track connections made by your attending HCPs. Gathering these metrics will help you establish a benchmark and best practices around this often-overlooked but valuable aspect of life sciences educational programming.
Despite predictions that increased regulation in the form of the Physician Open Payments Program —often referred to as the Sunshine Act — would strike at the heart of face-to-face program activity, the medium continues to grow, even as younger “digital native” HCPs comprise an increasing percentage of participants. This indicates that even young adults are seeking out the peer-to-peer interaction they can only get at in-person meetings.

March 9, 2018

In these hectic times, any event host knows the frustration of trying to get invitees to RSVP in a timely manner — and to actually show up. For organizers of medical education programming, the...

Read More
Disclaimer

In these hectic times, any event host knows the frustration of trying to get invitees to RSVP in a timely manner — and to actually show up. For organizers of medical education programming, the stakes are higher: Planning for a certain number and only have a fraction of the anticipated turnout wastes time and resources, and program costs can look artificially high, which can be a challenge for compliance management.
Managing the HCP invitation and response process is one part art, one part science: Program managers need to be attuned to the preferences and predilections of their target audience and gauge their correspondence accordingly.
The first element is making sure that the timing of your events is set to avoid potential conflicts. While HCP populations vary greatly in terms of their time commitments and schedules, there are a couple rules of thumb that can be useful to guide programming timelines:
The beginning and the end of the week tends to bring more unforeseen circumstances that can force cancellations, so aim for midweek — Tuesday through Thursday — to minimize potential conflicts.
When sending an invitation, you need to hit what we refer to as a “Goldilocks” moment — not so early as to get buried in the recipient’s schedule and subsequently forgotten, not so late that your attendee pool will already have plans.
By paying attention to the response patterns — an event-management tool that can consolidate and present attendee responses for programming over time is an invaluable tool here — you can find the pattern that best suits your target audience. As a general rule of thumb, the “just right” moment is around five to six weeks before you plan to hold your educational event.
When and how you follow up that initial invitation is equally important; schedule reminders into your preparation schedule to make sure you remain on your HCPs’ radar. After the invitation is extended, best practice is to follow up in person with those who respond “yes.”
The gold standard is to have this touchpoint occur within a day or two of the event itself. This keeps the reminder at top-of-mind for HCPs, and the personal touch reinforces the commitment. Think of your own social life and how much easier is it to say, “Oh, I won’t be able to make that, after all,” via email instead of to someone’s face. The same principle applies here.
If you use these insights, you’ll set the foundation for well-attended and interactive programming.


Contributed by:


Claire Rizza, VP, Account Management, AHM

Claire joined AHM in 2006 as a Service Delivery, Senior Director. After launching one of AHM’s flagship accounts she was promoted to VP of Account Management where she has been responsible for multiple large accounts. Prior to AHM Claire spent ten years at a Medical Education Company, she also spent 15 years at Parke-Davis. In total Claire has over 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry and 25 years in speakers bureau.

February 20, 2018

Good communication is an often-overlooked but critical element of professional success. After all, we’ve known how to talk since we were toddlers, and we’ve been supplementing face-to-face conversations with phone, email and messaging platforms...

Read More
Disclaimer


Good communication is an often-overlooked but critical element of professional success. After all, we’ve known how to talk since we were toddlers, and we’ve been supplementing face-to-face conversations with phone, email and messaging platforms for decades — if not our entire lives.
But if communication is effortless, good communication takes an investment of time and discipline to achieve.
At CBI’s PharmaForum 2018 next month, creator and host of the chatty “Talk Stoop” TV show Cat Greenleaf will give a keynote presentation dedicated to honing your communication skills.
One thing to remember in our visually-oriented landscape is the importance of being able to tell a story. In fact, notable thinkers Steve Jobs and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg famously banned PowerPoint presentations, the idea being that visual aids can turn into a crutch that replaces verbal messaging.
“Most productive meetings are a time for discussion and working things out, not simply going through a bunch of slides,” Presentation Zen author Garr Reynolds advises.
Whatever your message, you need to deliver it clearly and concisely — a concept that’s easy to grasp, but sometimes hard to execute. Especially in business communication, it can be all too easy to hide behind buzzwords and industry jargon. If you find it hard to step away from these verbal crutches, imagine that you were explaining the topic at hand to a friend or family member in an entirely different line of work.
“It is indeed a very noisy world, and it’s getting noisier seemingly by the day. It is those… who do the hard work to clarify and simplify that will be the ones who are able to rise above the noise,” Reynolds says.
Along the same lines, experts say the best communication isn’t one-sided; dialogues are more fruitful and forge more meaningful bonds than monologues.
To achieve this, ask questions and solicit your audience’s input. “If you regularly solicit feedback, others will help you to discover areas for improvement that you might have otherwise overlooked,” Deep Patel, author of A Paperboy’s Fable: The 11 Principles of Success, writes in Entrepreneur. In addition, use verbal as well as non-verbal cues (eye contact, leaning forward, not playing with your phone) to convey interest in your audience’s response. “The majority of what you say is communicated not through words, but through physical cues,” Patel writes.
Above all, you have to engage your audience to keep their attention, whether you’re giving a speech to thousands, discussing a tricky work project over coffee with a colleague, or just meeting someone at an industry confab.
“I think good conversation can happen anywhere,” Greenleaf told New York Family magazine in an interview. That’s a good insight to take into the workplace, as well.


Contributed by:


Susan Hill, SVP, Global Products & Solutions, AHM

Susan joined AHM in June of 2013 and is responsible for the oversight and management of AHM’s Global Business Development and Solutions and Marketing team. With over nineteen years of experience in the Life Science industry, Susan brings experience in business development, product marketing, and new technology investment and optimization.

February 8, 2018

On January 16, a New Jersey law titled “Limitations on and Obligations Associated with Acceptance of Compensation from Pharmaceutical Manufacturers by Prescribers” went into effect. It sets a cap of $15 per prescriber, per...

Read More
Disclaimer


On January 16, a New Jersey law titled “Limitations on and Obligations Associated with Acceptance of Compensation from Pharmaceutical Manufacturers by Prescribers” went into effect. It sets a cap of $15 per prescriber, per meal on breakfasts, lunches and dinners served at promotional events, and it bars physicians from earning more than $10,000 per year — in aggregate — from speaking fees, advisory board participation and consulting related to promotional activities, with the prescriber responsible for documentation and reporting.
The new law’s $15 meal cap is problematic as it effectively eliminates physician-led educational events hosted in off-site venues. Although considered promotional, these types of programs have a long track record of positive outcomes. They provide medical value and advance patient care. This kind of industry education has been widely adopted precisely because the medical industry recognizes the unique benefits it provides.
The stated intent of the law is to “minimize the potential for conflicts of interest between prescribers and pharmaceutical manufacturers.” As it is written, though, it upsets the formula — a compliance-centric practice, it should be noted — that has functioned well for many years, and creates an undue burden on medical professionals as they seek to further their and their peers’ education. The constraints are substantially below what has been nationally generally accepted as standards for reasonable meal costs and compensation caps.
The prevalence of such events, as well as increased participation, shows how much healthcare providers value them. These professionals readily travel to offsite venues — on their own time, no less — to confer with peers and acquire knowledge in an appropriate, distraction-free setting appointed with tools and technology conducive to educational instruction. Removing these attributes that allow them to be more productive and learn more, runs counter to both the spirit and practice of improving the health of ordinary Americans.
An even greater challenge is the reporting mechanism for the $10,000 annual cap — which mandates that prescribers themselves document their compliance. The New Jersey law imposes a de facto new regulatory requirement on healthcare professionals by shifting this administrative burden from Life Sciences firms, which are well-equipped to handle this function thanks to decades of observing compliance regulations, to these individuals.
As a result, it is not unlikely that many New Jersey-licensed prescribers who currently act as speakers, advisors, and consultants will limit their participation to a single pharmaceutical firm, or will opt to curtail their engagement with these programs altogether. This would be a great loss to medical progress. This dynamic industry absolutely needs to keep prescribers apprised of the latest discoveries and innovations in pharmaceutical development. The peer-to-peer dialogue that takes place at these well-regarded forums is invaluable in this regard.
By cracking down on “boondoggles” that don’t exist, we fear this new law will impact doctors’ ability and willingness to share their insights, doing a disservice not only to these medical professionals but to the patient populations who depend on them for care.


Written by:


Christine Croft, CEO, AHM

Christine is AHM’s CEO and is responsible for leading the strategic direction of the Company, sales and business development, organizational effectiveness and operational excellence. She was AHM’s SVP & CFO for three years prior to this and was responsible for financial management, human resources, information technology, facilities and contracts. She also has nineteen years of financial management experience within technology and service industries, including twelve years within Life Sciences.

January 18, 2018

As we head into 2018 and take a look at game changers facing the Life Sciences industry, the next inflection point we see is how the industry increasingly uses data to drive business decision-making...

Read More
Disclaimer


As we head into 2018 and take a look at game changers facing the Life Sciences industry, the next inflection point we see is how the industry increasingly uses data to drive business decision-making via advanced analytics.
The amount of data we have at our fingertips would be unimaginable as recently as five years ago; while collecting and reporting all kinds of data points remains important, businesses are increasingly realizing that these amassed statistics hold deeper value. The goal now is not to utilize this mass of data to guide the business but rather to specifically direct the business.
In Life Sciences, a big driver for the development of platforms to collect and manage all this data was the evolution of regulatory requirements — a complex and constantly changing landscape that has, at times, challenged the industry.
The welcome silver lining is that these requirements have given firms that work with robust, scalable engagement-management platforms an unprecedented wealth of data that can be turned into actionable strategies. A platform designed to introduce controls and processes in order to manage compliance-centric meetings produces a veritable treasure trove of data on HCPs, KOL’s, and engagement activities.
To date much of the marketing and promotions in Life Sciences remains very subjective, relying on relationships and individuals to direct business tactics — though the industry has access to detailed data about HCPs that Life Sciences companies can access to help them make objective decisions. The data available now offers the tantalizing ability to reveal which of a Life Sciences company’s activities, practices and procedures drive the biggest bang for the promotional buck. They are the code to unlocking a deeper understanding of ROI, and we are on the cusp of the technological advancements that can turn that code into real discoveries.
Ultimately, the promise is that Life Sciences companies will be able to use these insights to predict an HCP’s response to interactions and invitations based on their past habits, creating marketing efficiencies as well as more compliant meetings management — bringing that visibility all the way to the level of prescribing behavior.
The promise is that HCP engagement data becomes more than just a box to check, figuratively speaking, for compliance purposes. Instead, it becomes a valuable organizational tool that supports the goals of multiple stakeholders across business units.


Contributed by:


Susan Hill, SVP, Global Products & Solutions, AHM

Susan joined AHM in June of 2013 and is responsible for the oversight and management of AHM’s Global Business Development and Solutions and Marketing team. With over nineteen years of experience in the Life Science industry, Susan brings experience in business development, product marketing, and new technology investment and optimization.

January 10, 2018

The results are in: The hotel industry is starting 2018 off with a bang. Forecasts from hospitality consultancies STR, PwC and CBRE all predict increases in both average daily room rates, or ADRs, as...

Read More
Disclaimer


The results are in: The hotel industry is starting 2018 off with a bang. Forecasts from hospitality consultancies STR, PwC and CBRE all predict increases in both average daily room rates, or ADRs, as well as revenue per available room, or RevPAR, as demand outstrips the new supply growth coming online throughout the United States. CBRE, the most bullish of the three, predicts that the first quarter of 2018 will see an increase of 3.7% in RevPAR, coupled with a 3.2% increase in ADR over that same time period.
For planners of pharmaceutical meetings and HCP education programs, this is an escalation of the perennial challenge posed by room and meal rate caps. While rising rates make it more difficult to stay within compliance parameters, it is by no means impossible, provided that the planner make use of all their resources.

  • Relationships: In this industry, much is made of the need to forge mutually beneficial relationships with hotel directors of sales and group sales managers. These vendor relationships can go a long way towards success in negotiating for compliance-centric rates. With PwC and CBRE both predicting increases in occupancy, you will need partners willing to work with you.
  • Flexibility: A good Director of Sales will help a planner take advantage of small windows of opportunity, which can offset the rate constraints you bring them. In fact, one bright spot in recent consultancy predictions comes from STR, which projects slightly lower occupancy for the first quarter. If there are gaps in a hotel’s booking calendar, it is likely that they will be amenable to lower rates just to get “heads in beds.” The nature of HCP educational programming is such that shoulder or off-season bookings and shorter lead times give you the flexibility to take advantage of compliance-centric rates.
  • Data analytics: One of the most valuable assets planners of HCP programming have — or should have — at their disposal is a comprehensive view of spend with a particular hotel brand. This data has two uses: It can come in handy if negotiations hit a sticking point by helping the hotel to see a fuller picture of the value your groups bring to them. A big-picture look at spending patterns will also help you identify where your spend is concentrated and if there are opportunities for consolidating spending further in order to enhance the value of your business. Hotel stays are a perishable commodity; an unsold room is lost revenue. If your programs have enough volume, you are likely to find hotels willing to be more flexible in exchange for a guaranteed stream of business.

Trying to meet the needs of both marketing and compliance leadership is undoubtedly a balancing act, but an ambitious program manager armed with robust analytics can find ways to make the numbers work to everyone’s benefit.
Source:
http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles/264536/Q1-2018-Forecasting-US-hotel-industry-performance


Contributed by:


Matthew Derner, Director, Strategic Meetings Management, AHM

Matthew joined AHM in 2016 and has 18 years of Life Sciences experience. He leads AHM’s Stragetic Meetings Management (SMM) Department and is responsible for engaging current and prospective clients about our SMM compliant meeting solutions across their organizations. Matthew also leads a team of Event Managers & Coordinators that are responsible for the planning and execution of any meeting type outside of Speaker Bureau. Prior to joining AHM, Matthew has worked for Pharmaceutical Companies as well meeting planning agencies in various roles.

December 20, 2017

If you’re hosting a party this holiday season, you know just how important RSVPs are: Without an accurate headcount, you could run out of punch or end up with way too much leftover food....

Read More
Disclaimer

Why Proactive Management of HCP Engagement Matters Today

If you’re hosting a party this holiday season, you know just how important RSVPs are: Without an accurate headcount, you could run out of punch or end up with way too much leftover food.
The stakes are considerably higher when it comes to in-person life sciences educational programming. Although these kinds of face-to-face interactions have been proven to deliver ROI by numerous metrics of HCP engagement, having a system that doesn’t let you manage invitations in real time — or not having a system at all — is a risk pharmaceutical companies today should take pains to avoid at all costs.
Having a tool that automates this kind of oversight also takes some of the administrative burden off the life sciences rep tasked with coordinating the gathering and provides a vehicle for encouraging and ensuring compliance. If too few HCPs indicate that they plan to attend — and if your system has the capability of alerting you to that prospect — you can be proactive and cancel the event. Absent that, failing to confirm HCP attendance before the event could leave you “underwater” on the company’s internal parameters for per-person expense caps.
As anyone involved in the planning of life sciences educational meetings knows, complying with per-attendee caps on meals and other expenses is challenging enough at the best of times; if you have too few attendees to share those costs equally, even the most rigorous F&B standards won’t be able to keep your numbers where they need to be.
Absent a compliance-centric system for managing HCP responses, poorly-executed HCP attendance management has ramifications that impact speakers as well as attendees. Prosecutors have penalized pharmaceutical companies for bringing in speakers for educational programming — paying honoraria, transportation and other expenses — only to have those speakers presenting to an empty or virtually empty room. The risk is that a life sciences company might, in effect, pay a speaker for not providing a service. Even inadvertently, this is at best a waste of resources and at worst, the kind of occurrence that can make a company vulnerable to regulatory scrutiny.
To avoid the optics of running afoul of anti-kickback laws, some life sciences companies’ internal controls call for proactive monitoring of how frequently speakers present on a topic, as well as how frequently individual HCPs attend education that covers a particular product or therapeutic treatment. In today’s global economy, life sciences companies have to be aware of and comply with what can be a patchwork of state regulations throughout the United States, as well as requirements set by other countries’ regulators for overseas meetings. A truly robust compliance-centric management system should be inclusive of all of these parameters.


Contributed by:


Claire Rizza, VP, Account Management, AHM

Claire joined AHM in 2006 as a Service Delivery, Senior Director. After launching one of AHM’s flagship accounts she was promoted to VP of Account Management where she has been responsible for multiple large accounts. Prior to AHM Claire spent ten years at a Medical Education Company, she also spent 15 years at Parke-Davis. In total Claire has over 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry and 25 years in speakers bureau.