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.