The global meetings and events industry is evolving rapidly, but for professionals involved in the pharmaceutical market segment, the industry is evolving at break neck speed. 2010 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (fondly called by many “Obama Care”) marked the beginning of a new era for pharma meeting planners. As a result of the new legislation, an enormous amount of information reporting is now required from pharma planners – and more importantly – there are major penalties for failure to report on these thousands of pieces of data about the meetings between pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers.
Must Report Everything That Costs More Than US$10
In order to comply with the law, pharma planners are now required to document and report literally every meal, every bagel, every coffee break, every cab ride, every hotel room night, every airline ticket. Everything that costs US$10 or more provided to a physician. Moreover, this is all posted on a government website for the world to see, and if they don’t get the details correct, they face fines and possibly jail!
It’s a mass of rules, regulations, and budgets: tightening budgets and increased regulatory and corporate scrutiny over meetings spend means that pressure is high for pharmaceutical and other life sciences meeting planners to budget their internal and healthcare professional meetings to the dime and be in full compliance with a very complex set of regulations.
It’s so complex, in fact, that pharma companies don’t call meeting planners “meeting planners” anymore… they call them “project managers”! You might even consider calling them “medical paralegals” because of all the laws and regulations they must navigate to comply with when planning and conducting meetings! There was once a time when all a planner did after the meeting was reconcile the bill. Now the end of the meeting is just the start of a long process of reporting and documenting spend and its effectiveness.
Understand the 4 Main Rules & Regulations
Vendors who work with planners for pharmaceutical, bioscience, medical device, and other life sciences need to know the four main rules that planners are saddled with:
- PhRMA Codes – Voluntary for research-based pharma and bio-tech companies to guide interactions with health care professionals
- AdvaMed Codes – Distinguishes appropriate activity between heath care professionals and AdvaMed member companies
- The Sunshine Act (PPSA) – Requires that certain gifts, payments, and transfers of value are publically disclosed
- State Laws – Some require full disclosure of all spending on physicians, while others have dollar limits on what pharma companies must report
Want to learn more? Register for our exclusive webinar with industry expert, Jim Vandevender.