The first-ever ISMPP West meeting was filled with excitement and engagement for attendees from smaller biotech and pharmaceutical companies, as well as larger companies. The meeting program addressed a niche for those who work in publication teams – or are a team of one – at small and mid-size companies.

With 118 participants, ISMPP West had a great turnout for this first meeting on the US West Coast, held in San Diego, California. Nearly 50 participants attended the half-day workshops on October 11, with full attendance for the meeting sessions on October 12. Notably, over 20% of the registrants were first-time ISMPP members! The workshops and meeting sessions revolved around the theme, Surfing the Waves: Start-up to Established Company Solutions.

Workshops Span Attendee Needs and Interests

The workshops on Day 1 were presented by knowledgeable faculty and addressed key elements that span the medical publication profession.

  • An introduction to publication planning was provided for those who are new to publication planning or are interested in entering the profession.
  • Another workshop addressed digital advances available to medical publication professionals. Current options and future trends were shared so attendees can apply them to their company practices.
  • The final workshop served more experienced professionals by discussing scientific platforms, which underlie broader strategic and tactical planning for scientific communications.

Keynote Address – A Popular Highlight of the Meeting

Keynote speaker Melissa Marshall was an engaging highlight of the meeting program on Day 2, and her talk – Science Not Communicated is Science Not Done – was highly praised by meeting participants. Ms. Marshall provided expert insights for how to improve scientific presentations during her lively discussion and shared practical tools for attendees to consider and apply in their work, which resonated with speakers through the rest of the day. Her enthusiastic yet instructive tone captured the attention of the audience. Ms. Marshall is the founder of Present Your Science, and she is a TED talk speaker whose presentation, Talk Nerdy to Me, has been viewed by more than two million people.

Plenary Sessions Explore Common Obstacles at Small Companies

Plenary sessions on Day 2 drew from faculty experiences in managing publications at small companies and overcoming obstacles typically faced in small company environments. Various perspectives on transparency were also presented related to data sharing and patient privacy expectations in the health care industry. 

  • “Small Companies Tackling Big Issues” provided case studies on creating a publications function and publication processes, including the need for leadership buy-in; managing publications in co-development situations; building a publication tracking system; and handling publications from expanded access programs.
  • “Publication Planning in a Resource-Constrained Environment” first shared key findings from a 1,000-physician survey on the main sources of scientific data and what information is considered most helpful to physicians. The session then addressed the challenges of publication planning with limited resources and reviewed the considerations for insourcing and outsourcing publication activities.
  • “To Share and To Keep Private: Managing Publications in a Changing and Sometimes Conflicting Environment” presented information about the principles and rights in the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the evolution of data transparency over the past decade, and the need for cross-functional alignment at pharmaceutical companies to effectively manage data transparency.

Session slides from ISMPP West will be available for member access in the ISMPP Archives on the Society’s website for personal, non-commercial use. An upcoming ISMPP U webinar will include a recap of the ISMPP West meeting program; the webinar date and details will be announced soon.

Thank You to Our Exhibitors, Sponsors, and Program Committee!

This first-ever ISMPP meeting on the West Coast could not have been possible without the generous support and dedication of our exhibitors, sponsors, and program committee members. Thank you for your contributions to a successful meeting!


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