1,700 Gather in Phoenix for RAPS Convergence 2022

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The Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS) concluded its annual RAPS Convergence in Phoenix on Tuesday, 13 September, attracting 1,700 participants from 41 countries across five continents. Attendees gathered in-person for the first time since 2019 for four days of educational sessions, expert presentations and panel discussions exploring the most pressing topics in medical device, IVD and pharmaceutical regulation for global markets.
 
“In addition to the presentations, learning opportunities and exhibitor/sponsor innovation demonstrations, RAPS Convergence focused on bringing the global regulatory community together,” said Bill McMoil, RAPS Executive Director and COO. “Seeing members in-person again—making new contacts and reconnecting with colleagues and partners—was wonderful.”
 
This year’s educational program consisted of 196 speakers participating across more than 250 sessions. The event also featured an enhanced exhibit hall with100+ solution-providers showcasing the latest innovations in the healthcare regulatory sphere. Attendees could partake in speed mentoring, receive career coaching and have their resumes reviewed at Career Central. They could also interact with peers during Solutions Circles, have a professional headshot taken for free, learn more about the Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC) or take part in interactive discussions held at two show floor stages.
 
Participants stressed the benefit of the conference’s live aspect, noting that virtual sessions fall short on the experiential level.
 
“It was so energizing to be in person again,” said RAPS Convergence 2022 Planning Committee Chair and Executive Director, Regulatory Policy and Intelligence and AdPromo at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals Kim Belsky, MS, FRAPS. “Between solution circles, dine arounds, lunch and mingling in the hallways after sessions, there were so many opportunities to continue engaging, learning and networking that are only available when you’re together in person.”
 
RAPS also offered pre-breakfast wellness sessions, such as stretching and yoga, which offered attendees a way to maintain their morning routines and get their days off to a healthy start. At the core of this year’s event, the professionals who helped RAPS curate the education program understood the importance of helping the profession move beyond COVID.
 
“We’ve talked about the pandemic, and we’ve talked about the lessons learned,” said Megha Deviprasad Iyer, RAC, of Thermo Fisher Scientific and RAPS Convergence 2022 Planning Committee vice chair. “What is the common theme? It’s science. We’ve got to continue to advance science in all the other areas, even beyond COVID.”

With that in mind, the conference featured sessions on using real-world evidence, the future of vaccine regulatory pathways, the role of artificial intelligence in medical devices, developing decentralized clinical trials and moving forward with innovative manufacturing. Convergence boasted five such forums, with presentations from regulators from the European Medicine Agency, the Austrian Agency for Health & Food Safety, Health Canada, Japan’s Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency and the FDA.
 
Convergence 2022 also included a session on how to resolve disagreements with the FDA during pre-market review. The session entitled “With All Due Respect, We Disagree with FDA’s Assessment,” featured speakers from the agency’s ombudsman programs. Iyer, who moderated the session, said FDA officials proposed the topic. “They wanted to educate us on the routes that are available to people to lodge that disagreement in a constructive manner.”
 
Another session examined the future of patient experience data in global drug development. The agenda also created opportunities for attendees to elevate skills with tips on improving public speaking skills, best practices for identifying relevant regulatory intelligence and working for the FDA.
 
RAPS also launched the latest iteration of its “RAPS Global Scope of Practice & Compensation Survey” at the event on Tuesday. This research has been conducted by RAPS for more than 30 years and gives regulatory professionals and their employers a one-of-a-kind look at the profession with data on compensation, job responsibilities, career experience, education and more. Pay raises, job changes, and new work environments were among the top findings.

Access the executive summary and full report at www.raps.org/resources/scope-of-practice-survey.
 
RAPS Convergence is the premier annual event for regulatory professionals across the globe. Next year’s will be held 2-5 October 2023 in Montreal. More information and updates on RAPS Convergence 2023 will be available soon at www.raps.org/convergence.

 

© 2022 Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.

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