Dear Presidents and Delegates of National Member Associations,
This month I would like to address three points.
The first is the ACRP 2009 Global Conference & Exhibition with the APPI Physicians Program. ACRP stands for Association of Clinical Research Professionals whereas APPI is the Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Investigators. It was a very well organized meeting with several thousand attendants.
The organizers invited me to participate in a session “Understanding International Perspectives in Pharmaceutical Medicine” which was arranged by Chris Allen, Past President of IFAPP. Chris gave a talk on Pharmaceutical Medicine Training in the UK based on his personal experience and expanded on the CPI (Certified Physician Investigator Exam) offered by ACRP and I addressed news in Pharmaceutical Medicine in Europe and other regions. In addition I had the opportunity discussing with the Acting President and CEO of ACRP, Jim Thomasell, and Charles Alexander, President of APPI, and other colleagues proposals for cooperation between IFAPP and ACRP/AAPI. The points addressed were how to serve better colleagues working in countries where no national member organizations exists yet, internationalisation of certification of clinical investigators, which is already granted by ACRP/APPI, working together in establishing and accrediting academic courses in Pharmaceutical Medicine and exploiting the possibilities of e-learning as well as organizing conferences together. It was a good start and we have now to hammer out the details.
This program leads me to my next point that is IFAPP membership. Until recently IFAPP grew to a membership of 30 national member organizations. At he end of last year AMIPS (Association des Médecins des Industries des Produits de Santé), the French organization for Pharmaceutical Medicine decided to withdraw membership for 2009 because of local priorities. The Turkish organization stopped its activities. The French temporary withdrawal stimulated IFAPP as the international umbrella organization to strive even harder to show its value for the national member organizations because that’s the only purpose of it. The case of the Turkish society demonstrates the necessity to assist newly founded organizations to overcome the hurdles of the beginning. I am sure that we will see a revival of the Turkish association. Clearly, the way to move forward for IFAPP is increasing its cooperation with the national societies e.g. ACRP/APPI.
Fortunately, there is also an upside. The IFAPP Executive committee has set up a working group “New Member Associations” led by Luis Collia, Past President of IFAPP, providing assistance and advice. IFAPP is making strong headway e.g. in Asia. In China the Chinese Forum of Pharmaceutical Medicine (CFPM) has been established and is in the process of becoming a member of IFAPP. CFPM and IFAPP will jointly organize the ICPM 2010 in Shanghai. Societies for Pharmaceutical Medicine also exist in India and Bangladesh and are being founded e.g. in Malaysia. IFAPP is on its way becoming a truly global organization.
In these messages I have informed you repeatedly on “Pharmatrain” that is a project intended to improve education in Pharmaceutical Medicine in Europe within the framework of IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative) of the European Commission. The project has been approved and Pharmatrain, consisting of 27 universities, 10 learned societies including IFAPP and 17 pharmaceutical societies, is now preparing for a “jump start” to get the project going. You will find extensive coverage of the topic in the forthcoming June issue of IFAPP World (http://www.ifapp.org/home/news/ifapp-world). We do hope that we will bring education in Pharmaceutical Medicine to a new level in Europe which can be extended to other regions too.
So let’s work together on our goal that is the development and recognition of Pharmaceutical Medicine worldwide.
With cordial regards,