53rd Annual General Meeting of the P-D-R 2011

The Pharma Documentation Ring (P-D-R) held its 53rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Heidelberg, Germany, from 26th– 30th September 2011. The P-D-R is an association whose members represent the scientific information departments of the leading international R&D-based pharmaceutical corporations. The 21 member companies continue to account for 60% of the total global turnover of ethical drugs (approximately $500 billion); by far the majority of the top 20 global pharmaceutical companies are P-D-R members.

Thirty-three delegates attended this year’s meeting, which was hosted by BASF SE. In addition, there were guest speakers from member companies and one external guest, Monika Stok, from Aperian Global.

Henning Nielsen (Novo Nordisk), President of the P-D-R, in his opening remarks stated that our challenges this year have been through mergers, restructuring and cut downs and the global economic crisis affecting us all. He challenged the members to consider globalization, we think it but do we live it; outsourcing – is this a threat or opportunity? With increasing off-shoring within our businesses, are we following our key customers? The perceptions of Information Management are moving from delivery to partnership; information searching to information discovery; data retrieval to mining with semantics; virtual to visualization; desktops to devices. We need to continue to actively define our innovative leadership during these evolutionary times. The increasing need in the Pharma industry to collaborate around data and content within and outside their walls, presents particular issues for us when considering published literature. Our increased understanding of the role social software, handheld devices and text mining can play, moves us to consider how we manage rights issues and adapt internally to ensure we continue to add value. The presentations and discussions over the three days reflected our need to address those challenges

The highlights of the meeting were a focused session on the differences of cultures around the world facilitated by Monika Stok, Aperian Global and sessions on text mining lead by Oliver Renn, Boehringer Ingelheim. This was a pre-cursor to the special meeting being planned on text mining in Belgium, November 2011.

The successful Hot Topics session ran again this year giving the group the opportunity to discuss their most relevant issues. Topics this year included, mobile access to licensed material, communication and marketing strategies, social media, knowledge sharing, and access for external partners.

Each of the P-D-R’s eight topic groups presented throughout the three days on developments made during the year. This year, they included many presentations listed here:

  • Thomas Lorenz, BASF and VP of the Patent Documentation Group (PDG) who gave an overview of their current activities
  • Helga Walter, Bayer Healthcare, Heinz-Gerd Kneip, BASF, Michelle Sparks Kuo, Merck & Co, and Joanna Woodward, Pfizer on their text mining experiences and challenges.
  • Michelle Sparks Kuo, Merck & Co, on trends in outsourcing
  • Andrew Clark, UCB, Mary Laskow, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Deborah Juterbock, Novartis on their experiences and challenges introducing mobile technology for information services.
  • Wolfgang Ludwig, Merck KGaA and Karen Tempest, CSL Group on Newsletters and Newsfeed services
  • Barbara Endler-Jobst, F.Hoffmann-La Roche AG on comparisons between drug pipeline data sources
  • Mary Laskow, Bristol-Myers Squibb on integration of pipeline information
  • Matthias Staab, Sanofi, on the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), Translational Research Knowledge platform (eTRIKS project).
  • Hans-Ulrich Haussermann, Abbott on the collaboration features within the new P-D-R members’ website.

Within the reviews of information developments in each of the member companies, the recurring themes continue to be re-organisation – mergers, acquisitions and collaborations – resulting in reductions in staff and budgets. There were also common themes around increased use of text mining, social software tools and promotion of existing services to customers.

The meeting closed with Henning Nielsen thanking the members for their active involvement and to Gabriele Kupprat and Heinz-Gerd Kneip (BASF SE) for being our host. The 54th P-D-R meeting will be held in Bonn, Germany from September 18th to 21th, 2012 and hosted by CSL Behring.


P-D-R Board Members
Henning Nielsen, Novo Nordisk, President
Claudia Köerner, Bayer
Matthias Staab, Sanofi
Andrew Clark, UCB
Joanna Woodward, Pfizer, Secretary