My first four months have been very eventful as the new Chair of PSI. To be honest, I cannot think of a better time to become Chair. We are working on many interesting projects, which will provide even better value to our members and create a stronger society for the future. I have provided some highlights below:
Video on Demand (including eLearning)
We plan to introduce a centrally hosted video on demand site in 1Q 2018, which will provide easy access to recorded scientific presentations and training courses, including webinars, journal clubs, scientific meetings and sections of our conference. All content will be available to all members for free as one of the benefits of your membership.
We have plenty of content to upload, including the Estimands Scientific Meeting from September: a Meta-Analysis Course and many journal club meetings. In 2018 we plan to record two scientific meetings, two training courses, all the journal clubs and sections of the conference.
I would like to thank Ingrid Franklin (Veramed) from our Training Committee for setting up the Vimeo platform for us. Thank you also to Maria Efstathiou (Quintiles) who recently completed a pilot for us to test our video and recording facilities through MCI. The board were really pleased with the quality of the recording.
More information will follow in the coming months.
Nick Manamley (Amgen) is leading a communications initiative for us, and is reviewing how we interact with the membership and the wider community. His initial recommendations involve building a more interactive community, making better use of the tools already available to us and increasing access to our materials. He gave an excellent presentation at the Strategy Day Meeting in October and we look forward to receiving his report.
In order to make PSI more inclusive and open to new members, the membership categories will be changed in 2018. We want to become more accessible to both professionals and academics with an interest in the analysis of data within pharmaceuticals, healthcare and/or medical research.
We have listened to member’s feedback from the AGM and have revised some of the proposed categories as a result. To drive this forward and provide more continuity to membership in general, I have introduced a Membership Secretary, and Tim Rolfe (GSK) has kindly accepted this role.
Paul Terrill (Cytel), our new Scientific Director, has recommended that we reduce the cost of our Scientific Meetings to members, again to provide better value for our membership. This was agreed at the Strategy Day and future meetings will be budgeted cost neutral. Paul is now working on a new costing structure.
PSI’s conference 2018 will be in Amsterdam. The theme is ‘Breaking Boundaries in Drug Development’. Due to the increase in delegate numbers in recent years, for the first time we will be hosting the conference at a specialized Exhibition Arena. The conference will consist of a variety of plenary and parallel sessions, as well as breakout discussion sessions, a poster session and the annual general meeting, over 3 full days. I can’t wait to see more details from Lucy Rowell (Roche) and the committee. The last few conferences have been excellent.
Introduction to Industry Course (ITIT)
Mary Elliot (Amgen) is making the ITIT course more inclusive, and it will also be held at mainland European sites in 2018 and 2019. This will make the course more inclusive for our members from mainland Europe. The committee is also organising a HTA training course in its programme which will take place in Sweden next year.
Working with the community
Rebecca Sudlow (Roche) recently held a Strategy Day for the External Affairs Committee. A number of excellent actions came out of the meeting. One of them is to reach out to the Patient Advocate Groups. Richard Stevens, a patient advocate who presented at the last conference, informed us that these groups have an inadequate understanding of statistics and we would like to help them.
We also plan to build closer links with the RSS, and have already liaised with them on a few occasions following the merger vote.
We have also been working with our vendors to get better value. Naomi Givens (GSK) has successfully negotiated a new contract with MCI, our Executive Management Company, which is close to signature.
The Wiley contract has been re-negotiated and we will save around £5000 each year. I would like to thank Ray Harris (Eisai) for supporting me in the negotiations. In addition, Alex Currie (GSK) has negotiated better terms with Watton Hall to make advertising, exhibiting and sponsorship commission more performance based.
Other Changes on the Board
I would like to thank Mouna Akacha (Novartis), who recently stepped down from the board. Whilst I am sad to see her go, I am pleased that she will continue to be a member of the Scientific Committee. I would also like to thank Ray Harris for accepting the role of Vice-Chair. He has been a great support to me in my first few months.
Lastly, I would like to extend my thanks to all of the committee members. Their energy and commitment make PSI a first rate society. It really is an honour to serve and lead such a fantastic organisation.