58th Annual General Meeting of the P-D-R 2016

The Pharma Documentation Ring (P-D-R) held its 58th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in San Francisco, United States of America, from 13th – 16th September 2015. The P-D-R is an association whose members represent the information departments of the leading international R&D-based pharmaceutical corporations. The 25 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. 21 companies with a total of 31 delegates attended this year’s meeting, which was hosted by Gilead Sciences.

The President of P-D-R, Andrew Clark’s opening presentation started with an overview of the P-D-R activities over 2015/2016. An official welcome was extended to two new member companies who have joined the organization over the last 12 months, Chiesi and Otsuka. The theme for this year’s meeting was Information Innovation inspired in part by the location for this year’s meeting in the heart of the Silicon Valley. Reflecting on the fact that information centers continue to be in a cycle of change and challenge, Andrew finished by highlighting a number of imperatives that should be recognized by any information professional during times of change. Be proactive in leveraging technologies, curating information, and managing and analyzing data. Be well versed in security and operational efficiencies. Adapt to reality and carve out a role that goes beyond traditional information management. And finally understand the organization DNA and culture you find yourself in and nurture an environment that inspires innovation.

Each company attending the annual meeting presented a company update on the evolution of information centers within respective organizations, providing insight into both challenges and successes with regards to the provision and access of information services. Key trends that emerged was continued interest in text mining and big data and an urgent need to update how we authenticate our users to content we procure for them.

The P-D-R Topic groups presented throughout the 3 day meeting on topics ranging from:

  • “Stakeholder Management and Key Performance Indicators”
  • “News and Intelligence on Asia – Sources, Services, and Internal Use”
  • “How do Users Search and Discover Content”
  • “Exploring the Discoverability of Knowledge and Information Assets – Content, Context and Culture” and the final group presented on
    “Extraction of Chemical Information from Patent and Literature”

Building on from the success of the P-D-R special meeting in 2015 on authentication and its implications for information centers Andrew Clark and Helen Malone gave an update on the progress that had been made with the support of other P-D-R organization since this meeting. Tracey Armstrong CEO of the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) provided an overview from the CCC’s Universal Access Event held in Amsterdam earlier in the year and the pilots that are being scoped with support of P-D-R and other industry partners.

The highlight of the meeting was two strategic sessions that focused on Information Innovation in the Life Science Industry. For the first session, Doug Collins, an innovation management consultant, was invited to present to the P-D-R members. His section was titled: A Blueprint for Embracing the Practice of Collaboration Innovation in Life Sciences. After a short introduction and perspective on concepts of innovation in the corporate industry an interactive session enabled ideation practices to be embraced through crowd sourcing techniques with key takeaways that could potentially be integrated into the future strategies of corporate information centres.

The second session was presented in the form of a panel with the topic of Innovation discussed within the perspective of both industry and academia. Members of the panel were Tracey Armstrong, President and CEO of the CCC, Margaret Hansen, Professor at University of San Francisco, School of Nursing and Health Professions and one of her students, Victor Lam, Lenny Teytelman, cofounder of protocols.io, Josh Gredell from Altmetrics and Sven-Olaf Vogt, the Global Head Scientific Information & Application Development, Roche. The discussion centred on the major information-related innovation in the last 5 years and on information-related areas that have the greatest potential for an innovative approach. Participants did not leave out major pain points and looked forward to potential game changes in the next 5 years.

The meeting closed with Andrew Clark (UCB), President, thanking the members and the board for their active involvement during the year, The 59th P-D-R meeting will be held in Berlin, Germany from September 26th to 29th, 2017 hosted by Bayer.


P-D-R Board Members 2015/2016
Andrew Clark, UCB, President
Nola Heyns, Eli Lilly and Company, Secretary
Helen Malone, Vice President
Matthias Staab, Sanofi, Vice President
Anni-Barbara Endler-Jobst, F.Hoffmann-La Roche, Vice President