General Assemblies 2016 – 2017

General Assembly 2017
St. Julians, Malta
The 2017 General Assembly of the European Industrial Pharmacists Group was held in Malta on the 20th and 21st May. The General Assembly was preceded on the 19th May by a scientific symposium, entitled “Precision Medicine: Paradigm Shifts for Millennial Patients”. The symposium was chaired by Dr Patricia Vella Bonanno, Member of the Management Board of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and a Member of the Horizon 2020 Advisory Group on Nanotechnologies, and featured a video presentation by the Hon. Dr Miriam Dalli, Member of the European Parliament and the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), as well as talks by Martin Seychell, Deputy Director-General for Health, DG SANTE, Dr Barbara Freischem, Executive Director, European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises, Tricia Kennerley, Vice-President Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Dr Romina Briffa from the University of Malta and University of St Andrews.

On the morning of the first day of the Assembly, the EIPG Vice-Presidents presented an overview of the activities of EIPG throughout the past year. Anni Svala presented an update on the various educational projects in which EIPG had been involved throughout the year, as well as the activities in which EIPG had collaborated with EPSA. Piero Iamartino followed with a summary of technical matters, in particular EIPG’s role at the Interested Parties Meeting at the European Medicines Agency. Maurizio Battistini and Jane Nicholson presented updates on EIPG’s activities in connection with the Delegated Reguation on Safety Features and drug shortages. This overview was followed by the presentation of the EIPG Communications Annual Report by Claude Farrugia, as well as a presentation from Dr Paolo Sciacca, Gruppo Editoriale Tecniche Nuove S.p.A., on EIPG’s newsletter project. The morning drew to a close with presentations and messages from their organisations by Dr Barbara Freischem on behalf of EFPIA, Aida Batista on behalf of EAHP, Carolina Martinez-Berganza on behalf of PGEU, Dr Fabio Sonvico on behalf of EUFEPS, Dr Natasha Azzopardi Muscat on behalf of EUPHA and Črtomir Fleisinger and Ana Marcelino on behalf of EPSA. The afternoon commenced with a presentation by Christian Groß, Aesica Pharmaceuticals Limited, on quality systems and challenges in serialisation, followed by working groups on Quality systems in serialization, led by Maurizio Battistini and Christian Groß, and Value-based outcomes in the pharmaceutical industry, led by Gino Martini and Barbara Freischem. Both groups reported back to the assembly with a number of recommendations.

The highlight of the evening dinner held in Mdina was the presentation of EIPG Awards. Jean-Pierre Paccioni was awarded the EIPG Past Presidents Award, and inducted as an EIPG Fellow, while Valérie Lacamoire was awarded the EIPG Outstanding Service Award; Brigitte Saunier accepted the awards on their behalf. Two member associations were awarded the EIPG President’s Award for 2017. Helen Naddy accepted the award on behalf of Pharmacists in Industry Education and Regulatory (PIER), awarded for the key role of the Irish association in launching EIPG Webinars in 2017, while Piero Iamartino accepted the award on behalf of Associazione Farmaceutici dell’Industria (AFI), awarded for the extensive support for EIPG by the Italian association throughout the year.

The second day of the General Assembly commenced with the presentation of the Financial Report by the Treasurer, Brigitte Saunier, followed by the strategic plan and budget proposal for 2017-2018 by the President, Claude Farrugia. These were followed by the elections: Giorgos Panoutsopoulos (Greece) was elected to the post of Vice-President Communications while Anni Svala (Finland) was re-elected as Vice-President Education and Training. Presentations were made from various countries about hot topics in the pharmaceutical sector at the national level, and ways in which EIPG could be of assistance to the membership, as well as ways in which the various countries could contribute to EIPG. The Assembly confirmed Morocco as the venue for the General Assembly of 2018, and Hungary as the venue for the General Assembly of 2019, and concluded by thanking the Malta Qualified Persons Association for their efforts in hosting a successful meeting.

General Assembly 2016
Paris, France
The 2016 General Assembly of the European Industrial Pharmacists Group was held in Paris on the 4th and 5th June. The General Assembly was preceded on the 3rd June by a scientific symposium co-organised by the Ordre des Pharmaciens and EIPG, entitled “How medicines have changed over the past 50 years; what developments for the future?”. The symposium was chaired by Professor Jayne Lawrence, RPS Chief Scientist, and featured talks by Frédéric Bassi and Philippe Coatanea from the Ordre des Pharmaciens, Professor François Chast from the Hôpitaux Universitaires Paris Centre, and Professor Luigi Martini, from King’s College London. The evening was concluded with the first occasion of the presentation of EIPG Awards. Luigi Martini and Jane Nicholson were both awarded the EIPG Past Presidents Award, and inducted as EIPG Fellows. Pär Tellner received the EIPG Outstanding Service Award, while Roberto Frontini and Pascal Teinturier both received the EIPG President’s Award for 2016.

On the morning of the first day of the Assembly, the EIPG Vice-Presidents presented an overview of the activities of EIPG throughout the past year. Anni Svala presented an update on the various educational projects in which EIPG had been involved throughout the year, as well as the activities in which EIPG had collaborated with EPSA. Piero Iamartino followed with a summary of technical matters, in particular EIPG’s role at the Interested Parties Meeting at the European Medicines Agency. Claude Farrugia, Maurizio Battistini and Jane Nicholson presented updates on EIPG’s activities in connection with the Delegated Reguation on Safety Features and drug shortages. This overview was followed by the presentation of the EIPG Communications Annual Report by Claude Farrugia. The morning drew to a close with presentations and messages from their organisations by Tajda Gala on behalf of EAHP, Antonio Grasso on behalf of PGEU, and Maja Šerčić and Diogo Piedade on behalf of EPSA.

In the afternoon, the working group on the Unique Identifier and Quality Systems in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain discussed the impact of the recently issued Delegated Regulation on the roles of industrial pharmacists in quality systems within the pharmaceutical industry. The group proposed a number of recommendations that EIPG should issue. Delegates were advised to start preparing, get involved and participate in the consultation process. In the working group on the job of the industrial pharmacist in 10 years’ time, and his/her educational and professional needs, career pathways for industrial pharmacists, and the key skills needed for students to embark upon them, were discussed. The group highlighted the need for EIPG to continue to collaborate with key European stakeholders and assist in the development of competencies.

The afternoon was brought to a close with the elections of the new President and the Treasurer. Brigitte Saunier (France) was elected uniamously as Treasurer, whilst, following a presentation on the his vision of the future of EIPG based on the three pillars of value, impact, and visibility, Claude Farrugia (Malta) was elected uniamously as President from EIPG, with acclamation.

The second day of the General Assembly commenced with the presentation of the strategic plan for EIPG by the new President, following which the chair of the Financial Committee, Luigi Martini, presented an account of the finances. Presentations were made from various countries about hot topics in the pharmaceutical sector at the national level, and ways in which EIPG could be of assistance to the membership. The Assembly confirmed Malta as the venue for the General Assembly of 2017, and concluded by thanking the Ordre des Pharmaciens for their efforts in hosting a successful meeting.