In November 2017, the Austrian Society for Pharmaceutical Medicine (GPMed) celebrated its 25th anniversary. This special event was attended not only by the society’s members, but also by many clinicians and scientists of the Medical University of Vienna as well as members of the Austrian regulatory agency (Austrian Medicines and Medical Devices Agency, AGES) and the pharma association, Pharmig.
Main Focus on Securing the Value of Austria for Clinical Research
When GPMed was founded 25 years ago the intent was to create a platform for colleagues working in clinical research, to enable knowledge sharing and providing up-to-date education. Since then, the legal framework and the requirements regarding quality increased drastically. At the same time, clinical research, especially in bigger companies, has become a highly competitive worldwide endeavor. It is not a given that smaller countries, such as Austria, are chosen to be part of a clinical program. Christian Baumgartner, President of GPMed, made it very clear: If we still want to be part of the game also in the future, a joint effort from both the local companies’ staff and the clinicians is necessary to prove the specific expertise that is available in the country and that can yield very positive results for clinical research.
The intent to overcome this competitive challenge and to secure or even foster clinical research in Austria also in the future led to an increasingly proactive outreach of GPMed both to leading scientists and clinicians at the Austrian university hospitals as well as to members of the regulatory agency in the context of clinical research. The goal was to increase mutual understanding by creating the basis for regular and open exchange – a highly relevant initiative to address the many past and also future changes in regulation that forces everyone involved in clinical research to adapt continuously. The most recent example is Clinical Trial Regulation EU No. 536/2014.