Since the beginning of academic operations in 2017, IFAPP Academy has strived to offer education and training in Pharmaceutical Medicine and its related disciplines, focusing on Medical Affairs, a growing area in medicines development. The innovative competency-based approach to education and professional certification gained rapid support among prospective students and senior leaders in the pharmaceutical arena. As a result, a rapid interannual increase in cohort size has been observed in the past 4 years. Around 600 alumni using CMD (Certified in Medicines Development) as postnominal letters are now included in our network.
The IFAPP Academy and IFAPP also pursued the creation of a professional career path. A special certification award (Global Fellow in Medicines Development- GFMD) aimed to acknowledge the individual contributions in the various areas of our profession was established in 2020. Around 120 Global Fellows from all over the world have been charged with creating further awareness of Pharmaceutical Medicine’s purpose and contributions to leverage health in their respective communities. This initial cohort will be enlarged in 2021. We expect to witness a larger interest for biomedical professionals to join the ranks of pharmaceutical medicine in our efforts to develop better medicines.
Our unique value proposition for education and training has not been piloted for external audiences. Since our network has now increased to around 3000 biomedical professionals, including alumni and Global Fellows, we intend to offer opportunities for discussion and debate on emerging hot topics in pharmaceutical medicine. “Conversations with the Academy” webinars were conceived to foster peer learning and signal opportunities to create communities of learners. Since last October, monthly events have been offered. The topics for discussion ranged from antimicrobial resistance, new European regulations for clinical research, the impact of digital technologies, Real World Evidence, and most recently, COVID-19 infections. The preliminary outcomes are impressive with biomedical professionals’ participation from all over the world, including countries where IFAPP and the Academy had no previous presence. The feedback is also gratifying, with high reported satisfaction among attendants and suggestions for new topics to be selected with the IFAPP Academy Scientific Advisory Committee.
A joint effort with the IFAPP Communication Group to understand the impact of the COVID-19 in specific countries started in December. Webinars involving local experts and national member associations allowed sharing best practices (and pitfalls) in the detection and management of the new pandemic, which could be transferred to other audiences and showed the concept of a global village is gaining traction across the world.
These hopeful outcomes point out we are in the right direction to achieve our Mission and Goals for the planning period. Please join in our efforts. You are kindly invited to send your suggestions for discussion and debate as well as possible participating faculty. This is a group learning and willing to bring innovation in the world of education in Medicines Development. Please contact us by visiting https://ifappacademy.org/contact-us/.
Honorio Silva, MD, GFMD, FFPM (Hon)