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CWT Exchange 2015 - how do new transparency rules affect healthcare events?

At Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s recent client event CWT Exchange, our events arm CWT Meetings and Events ran a healthcare professionals’ breakout session on compliance, attended by our pharmaceutical, medical and lifestyle clients.

Here’s what this session revealed:
Exploring – the impact of new transparency rules
New reporting criteria is set to have a significant impact on healthcare providers, their organisations and the wider meetings industry, with the first deadline in January 2016. This round table session looked at how transparency or Transfers of Value (TOV) reporting is driving strategic decisions for the future of healthcare meetings and events.

Facilitator Caroline Hill, of Compliant Venues/Eventful Solutions, invited guests from pharmaceutical, medical technology, and lifestyle and healthcare companies, to share their thoughts and experiences.

Attendees said they hoped to better understand how the EFPIA Disclosure Code affects meetings and events structure, and travel structure. They also wanted to share best practice, hear how others are handling TOV reporting and learn how it could be automated internally.

Thinking about who is responsible for transparency reporting in their own organisations, one attendee commented: ‘It’s important to have a clear policy with clear roles. Everyone pushes in the right direction because failure could have a huge impact on the reputation of the company.’

Another added: ‘As part of our relationship with CWT, they are responsible for the audit and data collection for TOV reporting at meetings and events for healthcare professionals (HCPs), as well as the CWT travel team for any associated travel spend.’

This is easier when the supply base is consolidated as a fragmentation of suppliers on a global scale makes the task of collecting data and reporting difficult.  She called on organisations to make TOV reporting simple for HCPs.

Attendees reported that within their own organisations there is formal training for those responsible for planning HCP meetings on their specific actions for TOV reporting. One said that it was now impossible to invite an HCP to a meeting or event without introducing the need for TOV reporting. His organisation has a special team dedicated to ensuring compliance with T’s & C’s.

There was some discussion around how often you need to check back with an HCP to confirm they are still in agreement with transparency, with variations country by country.

So, how are meetings changing as a result of TOV reporting? One attendee said there was little difference to the meetings themselves but a lot more work going in to the planning process.

But there were more dramatic changes, with another attendee stating: ‘Behaviour in France is changing – some clients are refusing to stay for lunch and many are reducing the number of pharma companies they are working with.’

As HCPs become more discerning and ask themselves whether there is any real value in them attending an event, it is advisable to make every step of the journey as easy as possible for them, concluded one attendee.

You can watch video highlights, read quotes from the sessions and a full report on the day here.

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