Important Details: We recently got wind of a new European conference called Pharma-Bio-Med, geared specifically for information professionals in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, biomedical, medical, and health sciences industries. The first annual conference is set for November 2006 in Lisbon, Portugal, and promises the standard fare: plenary sessions, workshops, training seminars, and an exhibit hall. What’s new is the interesting vertical focus on "the role of the information professional through all stages of a drug’s progression, from discovery research through pre-clinical assessment, clinical, regulatory, safety, post marketing surveillance, and business and competitor information." Also new is the powerhouse steering committee of information managers in leading global pharmaceutical companies, representing an array of European-based industry associations, such as Pharma Documentation Ring (P-D-R), the UK’s Information Managers in the Pharmaceutical Industry (IMPI), European Association of Information Services (EUSIDIC), and European Association for Health Information and Libraries (EAHIL), among many others.
In Outsell’s Opinion: Outsell has long advocated aligning information management (IM) to key business processes, and it’s exciting to see a conference that aims its sight at the heart of the pharmaceutical industry to tie IM to the drug development cycle. Whether the conference content keeps its focus on this aim remains to be seen - but it’s refreshing to see this approach to applied IM rather than IM as a topic on its own. We also welcome what looks like a much-needed forum to fill the void left when the Drug Information Association (DIA) IM interest group died out.