P-D-R Special Meeting, Brugge, Belgium 28th-29th November 2013

The Pharma Documentation Ring (P-D-R) held its 55th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Chicago, USA, from 24th – 27th September 2013. The P-D-R is an association whose members represent the scientific information departments of the leading international R&D-based pharmaceutical corporations. The 22 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-five delegates attended this year’s meeting, which was hosted by AbbVie.

This was Henning Nielsen’s (Novo Nordisk) 10th and last meeting as President of P-D-R as he had earlier in the year announced his intention to stand down at the end of 2013. Henning’s opening remarks, reflected back on changes to the information industry since he joined 20 years ago. The Roaring 90’s bought access to electronic content, the 00’s The Users’ decade bought Web 2.0 and the obsolescence of Library Systems, and now the Teen Years bring consolidation of roles and the need for a paradigm shift in licensing models. Henning listed the achievements of P-D-R over the years through the group’s ability to collaborate and share experiences, building each other’s knowledge to provide guidance for the industry. He challenged the group to consider our ability to add value in support of fostering innovation within our organizations, and finished by associating this challenge with the main themes of the meeting including the two strategic themes of ‘Evolving roles in information management’ and ‘How new and emerging technologies impact the information profession’.

The highlights of the meeting were posters on how members had successfully implemented technology, and an interactive session on matching skills to new role types. There were also case studies on members’ approaches to staffing for success. The regular ‘Hot Topics’ session gave the group opportunities to discuss their most current issues including authentication beyond IP Addresses, the US Sunshine Act, compliant central repository management, how to provide Amazon-like services and our ‘Epic Fails’.

The P-D-R Topic Groups presented throughout the three days and this year we were fortunate to host a number of external guests:

  • Tim Fortin (LodeStar) presentation on ‘Metrics – measuring value vs. measuring activity’
  • Robin Neidorf (FreePint) presentation on ‘Information Technology and what it means for the information professional and the wider industry’
  • Brian Gelinas, Lynn Murphy and guests (Factiva) Hot Seat discussion on DJX changes
  • Valerie Florance (National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine) presentation on ‘Data Science – Roles, Career, Training – A View from NIH’

P-D-R members’ presentations included:

  • Joanne Mallory(Pfizer)on ‘Results of P-D-R Survey on Business Information Sources’
  • Wolfgang Ludwig (Merck KGaA) on ‘News Services at Merck KGaA’
  • Rose Lau (Astra-Zeneca) on ‘Pharma Patent Resources – Databases, Tools, and Usage’
  • Andrew Clark (UCB) on ‘Future View – Stretch Your Imagination’
  • Deborah Juterbock (Novartis) on ‘Where Is Your ICIC? – Survey Results’
  • Henning Nielsen (NovoNordisk),Christiane Wolff (Boehringer Ingelheim), Nancy Falbo (Eli Lilly), Joanne Mallory (Pfizer)and Thomas Gremm (Roche Diagnostics) on their ‘Views of the Evolving Information Management Role’
  • Matthias Staab (Sanofi), Henning Nielsen (Novo Nordisk) on ‘Literature Tracking for Pharmacovigilance’
  • Henning Nielsen (Novo Nordisk) on ‘Information Resources and Business Models at a Crossroad’

Within the reviews of information developments in each of the member companies, the recurring themes were continued company reorganizations, collaborations and divestitures, and as a result, the need to improve flexibility around access control, managing portfolios including business governance, and an increase in the use of and skills in tools for text mining.

After a short nomination and approval process, it was unanimously agreed that the new P-D-R President from January 2014, will be Andrew Clark (UCB). Joining him as Secretary will be Nola Heyns (Eli Lilly and Company), and three Vice President’s – Claudia Körner (Bayer), Matthias Staab (Sanofi), and Anni-Barbara Endler-Jobst (F.Hoffmann-La Roche).

The meeting closed with Henning Nielsen thanking the members and the board for their active involvement during the year, and to Ann Nista and Hans-Ulrich Häußermann (AbbVie) for being our hosts. The 56th P-D-R meeting will be held in Windsor, UK from September 23rd to 26th, 2014 hosted by UCB.


P-D-R Board Members 2013
Henning Nielsen, Novo Nordisk, President
Claudia Körner, Bayer, Vice President
Matthias Staab, Sanofi, Vice President
Andrew Clark, UCB, Alternate Board Member
Joanna Woodward, Pfizer, Board Secretary