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6 J un e 20 03 PharmaVOICE WHAT’S on your mind Breadth and depth I find that industry associations do an excellent job in providing networking, pro fessional continuing education, industry rela tions, and businessdevelopment resources. I can’t speak highly enough about the breadth and depth of opportunity that industry asso ciations provide to professionals. There is no better way to expand your business, career, and personal growth than by participating in industry associations. Lois F. Brand Manager, Marketing and Sales NATIONAL COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS ASSOCIATION Guard against corruption I think nonprofit, membershipfunded industry associations must guard against being corrupted by forprofit organizations that seek to impose their self interests on the missions and activities of the associations that affect the goals of the membership. Dan Ulrey President MCSI Sweat equity I’ll offer you a few thoughts about the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) and the Drug Information Association. I’ve been a member of both for years. PharmaVOICE says: “Read. Think. Partici pate.” At HBA we say: “Get Involved. Get Connected. Get Ahead.” In this group, it has been my long experience to encounter plentiful, challenging, rewarding, enlightening, and wonderful opportunities to tear myself from the moorings of skill sets and experience that I have been hired to use for my employers. I’ve come to appreciate that only when I’m off those moorings can I move into deeper water. As a HBA volunteer, I have been asked to stretch and grow and manage and organize and net work in ways that simply don’t happen in the workaday world. Too often I’ve seen companies chronically run people so hard that the last thing workers have energy to do is get outside the daytoday and learn something new. I believe in honing and practicing the basics to keep them as sharp as second nature. Onthe job work allows me to do that. The HBA has provided me with chances to grow beyond what I’m paid for, and …better than that, to do it among likeminded professionals in a culture that bakes in a lot of joy in each others’ compa ny. What the HBA plans to do better, quite soon, is to offer opportunities for new kinds of affinity groups, perhaps around functions like sales or R&D or working moms or career tran sitions … and to work harder to welcome and to help orient professionals who are new to our complex industry. Our membership’s male population is growing too. I have always said: “It takes a real man to join the Healthcare Busi nesswomen’s Association.” Now I think it only takes a smart man, or woman, to join the HBA. There is no peer to the Drug Information Association in this industry for sheer quality and variety in educational and conference opportunities. Somehow the DIA manages to stay fresh and engaging even in the most basic training (drug development process, clinical trial monitoring, regulatory requirements for new products), while also offering a curricu lum that stays on the edge of hot topics as our industry moves forward. All this and almost no crass commercialism — a professional’s delight. As a workshop chair for the DIA twice (Advanced Applications of Health Care Databases), I’ve been impressed by the profes sionalism and level of support from the paid staff of the DIA. They kept me on track when my plate got overfull and applied just the right reminder pressure for me to pull togeth er the volunteer and content aspects of the programs. I’m not in the governing structure of the DIA, but my opinion is that they could serve more professional functions than they do now; perhaps marketing, finance, and sales functions would benefit from the DIA’s style of creating basic and advanced courses on sub jects the whole industry needs to study. OPINIONS Industry associations T here are hundreds of lifesciences industry associations, if not thousands.The challenge is not finding an association that relates to your speciality, whether that is marketing,research and development, regulatory,etc. , but finding a group that fulfills your needs.PharmaVOICE asked:do industry associations do a good job of meeting your criteria for professional growth,education,and networking? If not,how can these organizations better fulfill your needs? I’ve paid my dues in dollars to stay in these two complementary organizations for more than 10 years. … but it’s the “sweat equity” that pays the sweetest rewards. Anne Camille Maher Consultant HEALTH LEADERS Cochair for Career Development HEALTHCARE BUSINESSWOMEN’S ASSOCIATION A job welldone I believe that industry associations do a good job of meeting my criteria for profes sional growth, education, and networking. M. Patricia Laster GENENTECH INC. Mixed results Do industry associations do a good job of meeting my criteria for professional growth, education, and networking? Professional growth — not really. A more open forum for discussing “dare to be different” ideas that truly push our current way of think ing — one that encourages and rewards people for openly discussing new ideas — would be perfect. Education — not really. I’d prefer more howto sessions, as most educational sessions are really top line, great as an overview. The really good details usually are missing. Networking — yes. This is typically one of the strong points of our pharmaceutical industry associations. Dana S. Dreves Senior VP, strategy NEWTON GRAVITY SHIFT Staying current Since joining the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) nine years ago, I have seen the organization grow its 8 J u n e 20 03 PharmaVOICE WHAT’S on your mind membership and service offerings. ACRP has a lot to offer clinicalresearch professionals who can greatly benefit from both the pro grams and training. The association is a great way to stay current in an everchanging field. Susan C. Ray, MEd, CCRA Manager, Pharmacogenetics Capabilities GLAXOSMITHKLINE The secret: get involved Career growth and knowing who to tap to help do a job are just a couple of reasons why the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and the HMC are outstanding as organiza tions, but — there is a secret. And that is to get involved. Only through working on com mittees are more of your dreams realized. That’s when you really meet people, get to know who is out there, what resources are available, how other people think, and how things get done. You also get to take on lead ership roles that you might not have gotten at your company. The confidence built from these experiences transfers into your own job and positively impacts your performance. Now, talk about outside perspective, and see ing a lot of people from different companies working together, and their respective styles — what role models to learn from — and you’re exposed to this (for free) at the HBA. It’s these intangibles that also foster career growth. The HBA has been one of the most rewarding and stimulating experiences for me. I am very proud of the days I served as president and encourage all to get involved and make a difference — in your career. Charlene Prounis Former President HEALTHCARE BUSINESSWOMEN’S ASSOCIATION President ACCEL ADVERTISING Responsive and evolving In today’s fastpaced world, both associa tions and professionals have the challenge of recognizing their needs and finding suitable approaches to meeting those needs, on a reg ular if not constant, basis. From my experience, I have found that the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Associa tion (HBA) has stepped up to this challenge and has afforded women and companies in the pharmaceutical and healthcare indus tries opportunities to meet their respective needs. For companies, the HBA has offered venues for leadership and diversity, and through HBA Connections, a model program for mentoring. Through the HBA Woman of the Year, awareness and recognition of the roles and contributions of women in the industry have escalated. In short, the HBA has fulfilled its mission and more, and more professionals are finding that this association aligns with their needs. But since change is continual, HBA is finding that it too needs to evolve with changing needs. Currently, there are two task forces explor ing the needs of specific groups and how best to meet them. The Affinity Networking Task Force is assessing how the HBA can help spe cial interest groups, such as those involved in clinical, managed care, or pharmaceutical information technology, better connect with one another and if and how the HBA can support them. The NewertotheIndustry Task Force is looking at ways interested professionals can expedite their individual learning curves and if there are common informational needs the HBA can help meet. The bottom line is that both associations and professionals need to evolve and be responsive to changing needs to remain con temporary and viable. Pat Pesanello Second VP HEALTHCARE BUSINESWOMEN’S ASSOCIATION Chief knowledge officer BUSINESSEDGE SOLUTIONS NECESSARY REVIEW The Food and Drug Administration announced plans in April to withdraw 84 old proposed actions and rules that werenever finalized and that are no longer public health priorities. Most of these proposals originally were made before 1997, and none has ever been in effect. This step will clarify the status of old projects, simplify and streamline the agency’s rulemaking process, and focus efforts on relevant pending proposals. PharmaVOICE wants to know what actions and rules would you have the FDA review as a way to improve the promotion, development, and review of pharmaceutical products? WHAT’SYOUR OPINION? Please email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. What’s Your Opinion? More on mentoring … Important influences Three mentors influenced my career — and my life. The first was my aunt. Marian was a copywriter in a cosmetics company. From the time I was small, my aunt, a career woman in a glamorous field, was my role model. Beyond serving as a role model, however, she became my mentor — a position we both relished — when I took my first job in advertising and promotion. Marian not only trained me early in my career, but, when I started my own busi ness, worked freelance as my senior copywriter. For two decades, she provided some of my best campaigns and headlines, brainstormed about strategies and directions, edited my work — making minor refinements or ruthless cuts. My second mentor was a copywriter in an outside agency. Overwhelmed with an enor mous project, I sought the help of an outside group, whose chief copywriter was my key contact. During our work together, he offered a critique of one of my brochures: “The good news,” he said, “is you can write. The bad news: there’s too much puff.” So he — and I — set about building my foundation in mar keting, reinforcing the concepts of what good marketing is all about. While not a mentor in the traditional sense, the third important influence on my career was a toplevelexecutive boss who hired me to supervise the advertising and pro motion department of a major publishing house and then left me alone to do just that. Those of us who have found mentors are blessed — but it’s a twoway street. Men tors speed the way, but success also requires pupils with initiative, motivation, and a hunger to learn and to be the best. And, like my own mentors, I now teach others, taking pride in seeing them grow in their careers, teaching them about good writ ing, how to edit their own work, and the questions to ask in marketing a product. Julie A. Laitin President JULIE A. LAITIN ENTERPRISES INC.