As this year comes to a close, I took a little time to reflect on the challenges of the past year-and there were many. I find it useful to contemplate how these challenges may create opportunities for the year ahead. Let's consider a few.
Economic issues rippled around the world and many governments are grappling with aging populations, increases in chronic disease and escalating health costs. Businesses are also facing changes in their models-from shifts in the sources of research and development to increasingly global supply chains, more-complex manufacturing systems and changes in overall funding and revenue streams. In the healthcare product sector, we have seen increased merger and acquisition activity, and continued political and public pressures stemming from consumer expectations of faster access to better products while eliminating risk.
These issues present many challenges for regulatory professionals. We are seeing increasing demand for experienced professionals who are also critical strategic thinkers.
There is growing awareness of the importance of regulatory expertise by venture funding groups and business executives-although there is still a long way to go in this area. At the same time, regulatory professionals are being asked to do more-to keep up with global changes and interact with colleagues across many functional areas and locations.
Challenges for regulatory professionals are not likely to diminish in the year ahead, which only intensifies the need to work smarter and more effectively. RAPS is attuned to your challenges and needs and committed to helping you perform your critical role.
As we move into the new year, you will see several exciting changes at RAPS. First, in January we will introduce the new all-digital Regulatory Focus featuring expanded content, links to the resources you need to explore topics in greater depth and connections to the news that is shaping the healthcare product sector and regulation. New content will appear regularly, so there is no need to wait for a monthly delivery. You will also be able to access to Regulatory Focus on tablets and other portable devices.
Beyond Regulatory Focus, RAPS will provide you with new information, knowledge and resources to grow in your career and in your role as a strategic contributor. Courses and certificate programs offered through RAPS Online University will be expanded and integrated with new course guides and learning materials. New programs will provide opportunities to hone your business and leadership skills. The RAC-the only professional credential for regulatory-will be accompanied by new tools to help regulatory professionals earn this respected credential, no matter where you are located around the world.
RAPS is also refining approaches for connecting professionals globally, including through RegEx-a social media site exclusively for the profession-while bringing networking opportunities to your local community.
In January, RAPS will launch our biennial global Scope of Practice and Compensation study-the most comprehensive survey of the profession and, at 20, the one with the longest history.
And there are many other exciting initiatives that we look forward to sharing with you in the months ahead.
Yes, 2012 may continue to present challenges for each of us. However, I hope you will see the opportunities that exist as well.
Our best wishes for the holiday season and for the year ahead!