Observations of DIA 2023

The first Drug Information Association (DIA) Annual Conference that I attended was the one in 1997 in Montreal. If one could look back at each of them through time lapse photographs quite a story it would tell. In bullet format: 

  • The growth of the CRO industry through mergers and acquisitions
  • Scirex was the late night party sponsor
  • Fax and OMR/OCR data collection was a high-tech blip on the screen until – 
  • EDC appeared with much noise but took longer than necessary to be adopted due to the inherent risk-aversion in the industry
  • Global trials for phase III studies
  • Patient recruitment via advertising had great stories to tell of saving trials
  • Transperfect is the late night party sponsor
  • Randomization and Drug Management system advances led to the ability to do increasingly complex trials and save millions of dollars in reducing drug waste
  • ePRO proved that paper diary data wasn’t reliable
  • Patient recruitment adjusted to pay for results (randomized patients)
  • eTMF vendors increase
  • Risk-based monitoring software appears
  • Integration of multiple sources of data
  • CluePoints is the late night party sponsor
  • Forced by Covid-19 we learned how to conduct decentralized trials, remote monitoring visits, mobile sites, tele-visits
  • Figuring out how to get EHR/EMR data into clinical trial databases
  • Insurance claims data allowing for Real World Evidence trials
  • The importance of patient diversity in clinical trials
  • AI gives a peek at our new future incredibly shortening study start-up: scan of protocol creates informed consent, eCRFs & edit checks, site instructions in 30 minutes not 8 – 12 weeks

These advances promise a brighter future for the population with illnesses seeking to be healthy and maximize quality of life. 

I make a point of walking the entire exhibit hall every year. It allows me to sense the change in the needs of the industry, the new products, new services. I can also run into people who may have changed companies since our previous interactions. When I talk at the first time attendee orientation on Monday morning, I recommend everyone visit the exhibit hall and to be inquisitive – look at what the exhibitors are doing, ask questions, find opportunities to be helpful and/or build relationships and connections. 

The content presented at DIA is prepared, submitted and presented by industry members who voluntarily do so. I encourage fellow industry members to submit an abstract. Abstract submissions are due September 14. The topics of interest and the instructions for submitting an abstract can be found here: https://www.diaglobal.org/abstract/meeting-details?productID=13251490&productcode=24001CFA

As a speaker, you receive a significant discount on the conference registration. It’s also a good addition to your career experience and can help you in networking and being seen as a key industry expert. 

We hope to see you at DIA 2024 in San Diego.


FOCM Membership Ceremony

You would have thought those first days of Covid lockdowns would have been a great time for me to try to catch up on my backlog of posts. But no, here I am during a snow storm warning in Wilmington, NC doing some catchup.

So, Mike Jones sent me this picture in June of 2014, so it had to be at a DIA Annual Convention. This is of dear friend and former co-worker at ICON Clinical Research, Robin Tuck receiving her FOCM membership card.  The sheer joy on her face says it all doesn’t it? Clearly this was before I’d been taught how to edit photos by FOCM member Michelle Jacobson. She literally changed reality in front of my face by lightening and changing the contrast of  a back lit photo.  FOCM will provide 1 year free FOCM membership ($20 dollar value) to the first person who contacts me who will then be sent this photo, lighten it up and return it to me. Upon receipt of improved photo, the membership will be issued.

Robin Tuck FOCM Membership Ceremony

New FOCM Member

On June 28, 2019 while attending the annual Drug Information Association (DIA) meeting in San Diego, FOCM was busy expanding its network. All new membership ceremonies are significant and strict adherence to protocol is (almost) always followed. This particular ceremony included a new addition to the protocol. FOCM is pleased to announce that Jodi Andrews, Founder and Co-CEO of Pro-Trials Research received her membership card.

This ceremony took place on the exhibit hall floor. What was added to the procedure for this ceremony was a shot of bourbon prior to the handshake, card presentation and photo. Later, a small pour of Fireball was distributed to the new member.

DIA 2019 Call for Abstracts

The DIA 2019 Call-for-Abstracts is now OPEN!! DIA 2019 will be in San Diego, getting an abstract approved is a great way to get to attend. The registration fee is significantly reduced for those who present content. At the site is also the abstract guidelines and categories.

The submission period is open from August 1 – September 12.

DIA 2019 Call for Abstracts


FOCM New Members and DIA 2018

FOCM was busy before and at the DIA convention in Boston in June.  FOCM along with Zymewire, Investigator Support Services, Kwipped and DataMatrix sponsored the 2nd annual Sunday night networking event before DIA exhibits opened.  In the exhibit hall, FOCM gave its seal of approval to several vendors, assisTek being one.  Unfortunately, the Arizona State Sun Devil hand sign snuck into the picture.  In the shadow on the table, it appears to be a weapon of some kind.

Clinical Reconnections Event Hosts









At the recent annual Drug Information Association (DIA) meeting held in Boston last month, two outstanding individuals completed the grueling probationary period, thorough background checks and initiation process. Please join me in welcoming Andrew Suri and Megan Carson to FOCM. As others who have received their membership cards, the ceremony itself can be emotionally draining. This was no exception, the sheer joy on their faces tells the story.

Andrew is Director of Business Development for Clinogix.  Megan is Assistant Project Manager at assisTek.

Andrew Suri

Megan Carson