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by: Annette Bak

AAPS has heabakheadshotrd your feedback on previous annual meetings! You wanted more focus while maintaining diversity at the AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition. Therefore, this year we built in themes from the program get-go, and 30% of the program is dedicated to 4 themes. According to interest, you will be able to follow “Accelerated Drug Development,” “New Delivery Modalities,” “Novel Technology,” and “Precision Medicine” throughout the program with no overlap. The Annual Meeting Planning Committee (AMPC) and the theme committees are excited to offer these themes as the topics that will span a range of new areas with both scientific and strategic focus, each with sufficient programming (7 tracks) and quality speakers to still provide in-depth focus in each area.

What if the themes are not covering your area of interest? The remaining 70% of the sessions are oriented around the 9 sections in AAPS with strong input from our 42 focus groups. This part of the program includes novel topics such as global health, novel excipients, stem cells, antibody-drug conjugates, continuous manufacturing, non-oral dosage forms, and drug delivery of small and large molecules, just to mention a few that have my personal interest. A consistent member feedback has been that the AMPC needed to carefully look at the program schedule to allow interest groups to follow their desired program with no overlap from similar programming. To resolve the problem in 2016 we have added an additional level of review from a group of past AMPC chairs.

Collaborative programming with other societies (e.g., ACS, EUFEPS, and USP, plus many more) allows attendees to see not only the best of the annual meeting, but also cool science, strategy, and processes from other societies. There are of course also four late breaking Hot Topics including programming on a key EU consortium, Orbito, the CDER’s New Technology Initiative, bioequivalence, and learning gained from the Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) Clinical Trials. These Hot Topics are selected shortly before the meeting to bring you the “latest-and-greatest” at the meeting. Personally I find these offerings particularly valuable as they address the global nature of many pharmaceutical sciences careers and key challenges in drug development.

Stalled in your career or just simply wanting to further your soft skills? Attend career development programming covering a range of career levels and skills, including self-branding, conflict resolution gender, and culture diversity and inclusion topics. This year I am especially excited about the career development format as it allows for increased participation, so come and join us to “learn-by-doing.”

Writing this blog, I realized that the AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition has so much to offer that I can’t cover it all. Don’t miss out on preconference workshops and short courses, the keynote and plenary sessions, including Advancing Pharmaceutical Sciences to Drive Prevention and Cure, poster sessions, the high quality exhibition, and opportunities to network at alumni events, section and focus groups Town Halls, PharmSci lunch time chats, and much much more. Want a snapshot of all AM programming?  Check out the AAPS Newsmagazine!

Please let me also take this opportunity to acknowledge members who submitted programming, the 2016 AMPC, the theme committees, the past AMPC chairs for reviewing the program for overlap, and AAPS staff—all are key contributors to what will be a successful meeting in Denver. We hope that you enjoy the new elements in the program. Please find me at the meeting to provide your feedback —positive and constructive—so that we can incorporate it in future meetings.

See you all in Denver!

Annette Bak is the 2016 AAPS Annual Meeting Programming Committee (AMPC) chair and head of Advanced Drug Delivery at Astra Zeneca.