Evolution Summit Fall 2017

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  • Pfizer: Striving for Clinical Trial Excellence



    Dr Paul J. Desjardins, a speaker at the marcus evans Evolution Summit 2011, on how the biopharm industry is working to assure patient safety, high quality performance and transparency in clinical trials.

    Interview with: Dr Paul J. Desjardins, Senior Vice President, Global Clinical and Medical Affairs, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare 


    Producing safe and effective medicines as quickly as possible in the current economic climate has become increasingly challenging for the pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare industries, according to Dr Paul J. Desjardins, Senior Vice President, Global Clinical and Medical Affairs, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. A speaker at the marcus evans Evolution Summit 2011 taking place in Hollywood, Florida, May 4-6, Desjardins explains that companies are focusing on compliance and driving excellence while reining in the ever spiraling cost of clinical trials.

    What effect has the challenging economic environment had on the clinical trial process?

    Paul Desjardins: The challenge is always to prioritize the quality of clinical trial and patient safety, maximize the speed of enrolment in the study and control its final cost. Companies are focusing on improving clinical trial compliance and driving excellence to minimize the likelihood of problems while controlling the ever increasing costs of clinical trials.

    There are a number of clinical trial excellence initiatives in place that use principles of continuous quality improvement to prevent any potential risks posed by the trial rather than creating corrective action plans after the problems occur. The pharmaceutical industry and the consumer healthcare industry continues to focus on how to produce safe and effective medicines as quickly as possible. However in this current economic situation, this has become more expensive and more challenging.
    Do you see the pharmaceutical industry becoming more reliant on outsourcing?

    Paul Desjardins: Many companies that have had extensive outsourcing programs are rethinking their models to improve clinical trial excellence in study design and conduct. There has been and will continue to be a high reliance on outsourcing of some of the activities performed through contract research organizations and preferred providers. The challenge right now is how to maintain appropriate levels of oversight, predict areas of risk around protocols, proactively avoid errors, and improve compliance with Good Clinical Practice. This in turn leads to safer, more sensitive and reliable clinical trials.

    What issues has the evolving relationship between the biopharm industry and academic health centers raised?

    Paul Desjardins: The Institute of Medicine in 2009 identified several areas where there were actual and potential conflicts of interest in medical research, education and practice. For example, concerns were raised that medical education programs were being funded by the biopharma and medical device industries and at times the content of those courses was unduly influenced by members of those industries. The core issues are whether doctors and other healthcare practitioners are able to obtain fair and unbiased information on the various products they utilized or prescribed for patients and whether they can make unbiased, informed decisions on behalf of those patients.

    The biopharmaceutial industry shares those concerns and we have an ongoing need to engage physicians and other healthcare practitioners to develop new drugs, devices and therapies to satisfy unmet medical needs. Industry groups and individual companies have adopted and implemented policies to minimize potential biases as information is diseminated to physicians and healthcare practitioners. There are now extensive guidelines that must be followed as we continue to develop collaborations with individual healthcare practitioners, researchers, and medical centers. In addition, there have been many changes over the last 10 years to increase clinical trial transparency so healthcare practitioners have all the latest information.

    What are your projections for the next 10 years?

    Paul Desjardins: It looks like many of the early drug development projects will occur in small to medium size pharmaceutical companies. I anticipate over the coming years there will be unique public-private partnerships developed to investigate some of the most challenging conditions like Alzheimer's disease.

    The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Pfizer.

    Contact: Maeve McGovern
    Group News and Features Writer,
    marcus evans
    Tel: + 357 22 849 313

    About the Evolution Summit 2011

    This unique forum will take place at The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida, May 4-6, 2011. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The summit includes presentations on the future of drug development, developing a culture of safety and maximizing return on investment.

    For more information please send an email to info@marcusevanscy.com or visit the event website

    marcus evans group - life sciences/pharma sector portal

    Please note that the summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

    About marcus evans Summits

    marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-on-one business meetings. For more information, please visit www.marcusevans.com 

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