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Fully trained experts in compliance for the pharmaceutical industry's meetings

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Pharma Meetings is a free venue finding service specifically tailored to the needs of our pharmaceutical clients. We understand the pressures of the industry and the crucial role that meetings play in communicating new ideas and developments, but organising them can be time-consuming and problematic. That’s where we can help.

Our experienced team has a thorough understanding of compliance from both a UK and International perspective, including ABPI, EFPIA and IFPMA.  We take the time to understand your company's internal policies and procedures for approval before making your booking.

Venue Finding

Pharma Meetings provides a personal, professional service at no cost to your company and gives you access to our specialists who between them have more than 80 years in the events and travel industry. We make continued investment in technology, using the latest tools to find you the perfect venue to meet your deadlines. Our intensive and ongoing investment in training means each of our team is required to visit 100 venues a year and participate in continuous compliance programmes, so you can be confident we keep abreast of all the changes in regulatory requirements and Codes of Practice for pharmaceutical meetings.

Venue finding for a meetings planner or organiser

Our specialist team will:

  • Find the right venue and make all the booking arrangements – whether you want to hold your event in the UK or abroad
  • Secure the best possible rates and provide full management information for your company budget
  • Provide responsive and dedicated support – releasing you from the hassle of organising your meetings and conferences
  • Access an unrivalled network of hotels, meeting rooms and conference centres with a substantial number of them personally vetted by us – we are objective and not affiliated to any one group of venues or hotels
  • Ensure full compliance with ethical and regulatory requirements governing meetings and events in the pharmaceutical industry

As a truly professional company, you can rely on us for:

  • Fast, efficient and comprehensive service
  • Professionalism and experience
  • Full compliance with regulatory requirements
  • Innovative technology that ensures you receive the best venue at the best price

What does this mean for you?

  • The negotiation, administration and contracting of the event are expertly handled by us on your behalf and under your instruction
  • This frees you up to focus fully on the delivery of a successful event and satisfied delegates
  • You can be confident that our team members keep abreast of all the changes in regulatory requirements and Codes of Practice for pharmaceutical meetings
  • Cost savings will be achieved to reduce expenditure and benefit your budget
  • We will negotiate to add value and minimise your liability, giving you a better return on investment

Venue finding for procurement

The Pharma Meetings' free venue finding service gives you:

  • Compliance assured on all mandated procurement policies, whilst supporting creativity
  • Rate information and negotiated cost savings for your events, UK-based or international
  • Visibility of cost savings via full management reporting and web technology 24/7
  • Administration and contracting with venues handled by a team of venue experts
  • Full compliance with ethical and regulatory requirements governing meetings and events in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Maximum leverage with major hotel chains and suppliers based on industry experience and professional association
  • Additional services and support

By contracting to Pharma Meetings you will have access to many additional services and support:

  • A rapid and responsive express service for Pharma Meetings involving fewer than 15 people
  • Access to a personalised UK and International venue database of more than 12,000 conference-specific hotels and venues
  • On-line mapping and communication via a bespoke intranet system
  • Assisted site inspections
  • On-site support pre, live and post event

Congress

Pharma Meetings is a specialist division of Trinity which offers bespoke Congress support specifically tailored to the needs of our Pharmaceutical clients.

Our experienced and knowledgeable team have a thorough understanding of compliance from both a UK and International perspective including ABPI, EFPIA and IFPMA. We take the time to understand your company’s internal policies and procedures for approval before making your booking.

Our team has more than 80 years experience in the events and travel industry and has managed Congress events across Europe and the USA.

Accommodation support

Booking directly with the hotels and managing contracts and allocations
Liaising directly with housing bureaux and managing rooming lists

Pre-Event Support

Including assisted site visits to destinations, planning meetings, collation of delegates lists and rooming lists as well as supplier liaison

Destination Management Companies

Sourcing a suitable DMC from our extensive database and preferred programme
Direct liaison with DMC to manage travel, transfers, meet and greet, hostesses, offsite dinners and restaurants

Delegate Registration

Set up and manage a bespoke registration site for your Congress or manage an existing in house system

Production and Creative

Stage set and design, technical production, creative theming and branding, speaker research and
management, slide production, exhibition management and design and collateral

Onsite support

Having staff from our management team onsite will take the stress out of your event. We become an extension of your team and can attend to all the details, from initial set up and attendee arrivals to event break-down and attendee departures. Your delegates will feel valued and enjoy a stress-free experience, allowing them to concentrate on the Congress.

Compliance

We know that meetings are an essential means of communication for healthcare organisations and the pharmaceutical industry, however we also know that their planning, organisation and execution must comply with the relevant codes of relevant regulatory and country-specific legal guidelines.  This ensures that events, venues, promotions and hospitality are not inappropriately used to induce healthcare professionals to prescribe certain pharmaceutical products.

In the UK, Clause 19 of the ABPI (Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry) Code of Practice 2008 specifically focuses on regulations covering ‘Meetings and Hospitality’ between the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare professionals.

Other regulations, such as EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations) pertain to member companies across Europe, and IFPMA (International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations) applies worldwide. Member companies must comply with the applicable national codes of member associations where such codes exist.

In countries where there are no local codes or regulations, or where a member company is not affiliated with a local/regional association, the IFPMA Code 2006 acts as a default standard and its operating procedures apply. Some national regulatory guidelines are legally binding, but in most cases the industry is self-regulatory, with pharma companies agreeing to abide by the guidelines and taking them very seriously.

Each pharma company has its own meetings and hospitality policy, which in some cases is more stringent than the local guidelines, so it is always best to check the company’s internal policies and procedures for approval before making your booking.

Pharma Meetings & Compliance

Pharma Meetings has a responsibility to ensure that all its activities relating to venue selection and contracting comply with the relevant regulatory requirements. Pharma Meetings will:

  • Check with you at every stage to ensure that your pharma meetings fully comply with the ABPI 2008 Code of Practice (UK meetings) and other relevant national regulatory requirements
  • Ensure that you have confidence in the venue selected
  • Ensure that all Pharma Meetings’ Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are continually reviewed to ensure compliance with the Code and all other legal requirements
  • Ensure that all relevant Pharma Meetings personnel are appropriately trained in the requirements of the Code and remain up-to-date with regulation changes
  • Act as an adviser to highlight any areas for concern where a breach may occur through the inappropriate selection of a venue
  • Work within procurement pricing parameters as determined by your company and the Code

In your meeting planning we will ask you to consider all aspects of the meeting and supply us with the following:

  • The objectives, purpose and key criteria for the meeting
  • Any guidance regarding the type of venue you require for your meeting according to your company policies and procedures
  • An outline budget, agenda and timings
  • Details of meeting content (including speakers), subsistence, hospitality and all associated materials i.e. handouts, materials and invitations
  • Timelines for decision-making

REMEMBER: all of these aspects are important to the successful delivery of your meeting and how the meeting will be perceived by the health care professional.
The overall consideration given from combining all of these elements will help determine whether the meeting is compliant or not.

Training

The altered perceptions of the pharmaceutical industry mean that the needs of those delivering meetings and events within the industry are constantly evolving.

Those of you tasked with planning meetings must achieve a difficult balance so delivering a quality event within the confines of compliance. Healthcare compliance laws and security standards are shaping the nature of pharmaceutical meetings – more than ever, planners have to be one step ahead to ensure that nothing breaches the ABPI Code of Practice.

Trinity understands these complexities and is fully committed to providing ongoing training for the Pharma Meetings’ team. We ensure that every team member is kept up to date with the latest developments in the industry and all aspects of venue finding, contracting, management, execution and delivery.

Team Development

Trinity is totally committed to the training and personal development of all company staff. Continual training ensures we remain current on industry developments and venue information, enabling us to meet our customers’ needs.
The Pharma Meetings’ team at Trinity has undergone training in the following areas:

Compliance Training

  • Participation in an ABPI Update Forum
  • Compliance instruction during company induction training
  • Team attendance at training and interactive workshops on the legal and regulatory requirements of pharmaceutical meetings
  • Regularly updates on compliance developments
  • Skills & Technical tuition
  • Taking an effective brief
  • Customer service skills

Sales Training

  • Negotiating contracts and cost savings
  • Professional membership of MPI and associated courses
  • Supplier & Vendor tuition
  • Professional membership of HBAA and associated courses
  • Undertaking thousands of venue site inspections both nationally and internationally
  • Holding regular meetings with hotels and suppliers to exchange information and update regarding industry changes

PMCPA Guidelines

The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) publishes relevant case studies to act as guidance for all those who are involved in the planning and organisation of pharma meetings and events, plus other useful advice about the use of meetings to promote pharmaceutical products and services.
Here is some recent advice issued by the PMCPA that is relevant to Pharma Meetings

Meeting Venues

Companies are reminded that when organising meetings which are subject to the Code, they must ensure, inter alia, that the venue is appropriate and conducive to the main purpose of the meeting. Responsibility in this regard should not be delegated to a third party. It follows that venues must be approved on a case by case basis according to the type of meeting to be held and the target audience. For example a venue which is suitable for a two day meeting of international thought leaders might not be suitable for an evening meeting of local GPs. Similarly, successful use of a venue does not guarantee its suitability for future meetings. Venues can change over time with regard to the facilities and/or level of hospitality offered.

Sport and Leisure Venues for Meetings

The supplementary information to Clause 19.1 of the Code, Meetings and Hospitality, states, inter alia, that venues for meetings must be appropriate and conducive to the main purpose of the meeting; lavish and deluxe venues must not be used and companies should avoid using venues that are renowned for their entertainment facilities. The impression that is created by the arrangements for any meeting must always be kept in mind. Meetings organised for groups of doctors, other health professionals and/or appropriate administrative staff which are wholly or mainly of a social or sporting nature are unacceptable.

When large numbers of delegates are to be invited to a meeting it may be impossible to hold it at a business style hotel. A conference centre within a football stadium or the like may have to be used instead. Companies organising, or sponsoring, meetings at such high profile venues should be satisfied that no other venue is large enough to accommodate the meeting and that the overall impression given by the proposed arrangements would not be unacceptable in relation to the requirements of Clause 19.1. Gratuitous use of sporting or leisure venues is unacceptable. It must be the programme that attracts delegates to a meeting, not the venue. Further, companies must ensure that no sporting events take place at the venue immediately before, during or immediately after the meeting. Venues must not be used so as to knowingly take advantage of any entertainment/sport that has been organised/subsidised by a third party.

Advice on Advisory Boards

It is acceptable for companies to arrange advisory board meetings and the like and to pay health professionals and others for advice on subjects relevant to their products. Nonetheless the arrangements for such meetings have to comply with the Code. As with promotional meetings, the requirement that hospitality be of an appropriate standard, as set out in Clause 19 of the Code, has to be followed. The meeting should be held in an appropriate venue conducive to the purpose of the meeting. To be considered a legitimate advisory board the choice and number of participants should stand up to independent scrutiny; each should be chosen according to their expertise such that they will be able to contribute meaningfully to the purpose and expected outcomes of the meeting. The number of participants at a meeting should be limited so as to allow active participation by all. The agenda should allow adequate time for discussion. The number of meetings and the number of participants at each should be driven by need and not the invitees’ willingness to attend. Invitations to participate in an advisory board meeting should state the purpose of the meeting, the expected advisory role and the amount of work to be undertaken.

If an honorarium is offered it should be made clear that it is a payment for such work and advice. Honoraria must be commensurate with the time and effort involved and the professional status of the recipients.

Make it Formal

Companies are requested to remind all employees that when they plan a meeting for health professionals and appropriate administrative staff at outside venues, hospitality must be secondary to the purpose of the meeting. To ensure that the meeting has a clear educational content organisers would be well advised to draw up, in advance, a formal agenda detailing the subjects to be discussed, together with timings where appropriate, and issue that as part of the invitation to the meeting. Invitations should be carefully worded so that delegates are attracted by the programme and not the associated hospitality or venue. The venue should be suitable for the purpose; the Code of Practice Panel is likely to rule any educational meeting held in an area of a restaurant, which at the same time is open to members of the public, in breach of the Code. A useful criterion in determining whether the arrangements for any meeting are acceptable is to ask ‘Would I and my company be willing to have these arrangements generally known?’. The impression that is created by the arrangements for any meeting can be as important in determining its acceptability under the Code as the arrangements themselves. Companies are reminded that they risk being ruled in breach of Clause 2 of the Code in relation to meetings where the hospitality is out of proportion to the occasion and/or the educational content is slim.

Use of Third Parties to Organise Meetings

The Code of Practice Panel has considered a small number of cases where representatives have delegated some of the responsibility for organising a meeting to a third party. Companies should remind representatives that in such circumstances the representative nonetheless remains responsible for all aspects of the meeting and the company remains liable for it under the Code. It is beholden upon representatives to ensure that any third party to whom they entrust any aspect of organisation of a meeting is fully conversant with the relevant requirements of the Code. Such requirements extend beyond Clause 19, for example posters advertising a meeting must not unwittingly be turned into promotional material by someone unfamiliar with the Code. The first priority of a representative in organising a meeting is to ensure it complies with the Code regardless of the offers of help or arrangements made by others. Responsibility for compliance cannot be delegated to third parties.

I first made contact with Trinity in the Autumn of 2009 and gave them a brief for our main overseas conference. My enquiry was dealt with both efficiently and effectively and was provided with a very detailed and comprehensive proposal. I was so impressed with the service and attitude that I have since been in regular communication for a variety of UK conferences, varying in size and location. My relationships with the team have both grown and have developed to such an extent, that quite often when I am calling Trinity with another enquiry, they are able to pre-empt my needs before I have even started!

With so many venue event finding companies offering today the same type of service, it is a pleasure to deal and work with a company such as Trinity, knowing that I can rely on them 100% and that in doing so they assist me with my role within the company

       PA to the Director, Critical Care Division, LEO Pharma

Case Studies

Case Study : Pharmaceutical venue finding

Case Study : Pharmaceutical venue finding

Creating a process for quick venue finding and complying with industry standards Find out more

+ Case Study : Pharmaceutical venue finding

Case Study : UK venue finding

Case Study : UK venue finding

A residential meeting for 40 people in a 'country-house' style hotel Find out more

+ Case Study : UK venue finding

Case Study : International venue finding

Case Study : International venue finding

A residential conference for 400 attendees held in Vienna and Lisbon Find out more

+ Case Study : International venue finding

Talk to an events expert on + (0) 44 1780 484056 for help with your conferences, meetings and events. There’s no commitment, just give us a call to find out how we can help. Make an enquiry