Two lawyers, a medical doctor, a pharmacist, and a biologist walk in to a meeting as invited presenters. One says, “We’re in this together” and the others… said the same thing in different ways. It happened on April 24th at the 2015 USP Convention Meeting. Maybe it happens more often than many of us think, but it was special for the more than 500 Delegates, Observer Representatives, leaders, and guests in attendance.
Professionals from varying disciplines, representing some of the most influential organizations in global health, gathered together at the 2015 USP Convention Meeting and heard some key leaders whose organizations are impacting the global healthcare landscape. The leaders were:
- Howard Sklamburg, J.D., Deputy Commissioner for Global Regulatory Operations and Policy at the US Food and Drug Administration;
- Robert Wah, M.D., President of the American Medical Association;
- Thomas Menighan, B.S.Pharm., M.B.A, Sc.D. (Hon.), F.A.Ph.A., CEO of the American Pharmacists Association;
- Ralph Neas, J.D., President and CEO of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association; and,
- John Castellani, President and CEO of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
Each of these esteemed speakers highlighted ways in which USP’s work aligns with the work of their organizations, they acknowledged that the groups they represent may have differing goals, and yet they agreed that identifying intersects with USP and with each other will help to address the shared vision of improved global health.
The 2015 Convention Meeting theme, “USP and You: Shoulder to Shoulder on the Path to Improve Global Health,” was featured not only in each of those presentations, but was echoed throughout the meeting. For example, luncheon discussion groups on USP’s emerging strategies provided opportunities for participants to explore ideas for future partnerships. The USP business conducted during the meeting - the adoption of 2015-2020 Resolutions, amendments to Bylaws, and election of both the Board of Trustees and Council of Experts - was the opportunity for Delegates representing USP Member Organizations, to formally and publically inform USP’s strategic direction for the 2015-2020 cycle.
Perhaps the most salient demonstrations of the value of collaborations were the two keynote panel discussions, one on biologics and the other on global public health. The biologics panel discussion explored the dynamic between the drivers of innovative therapy approaches, patient access, and assuring that these new therapies are safe. The global health panel discussed challenges such as supply chain insecurity and recommended working through the existing regional platforms, supporting manufacturing sector to produce higher quality meds, and strengthening regulatory capacity.
Many attendees didn’t just make connections - they listened, they engaged, and they sought collaborations that may truly make a world of difference.