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Investigator Meeting: Planning to Success

“An Investigator Meeting is typically the responsibility of a sponsor, but this role can also be assigned to a CRO. For those from the industry, the meeting of investigators is strongly targeted and criticized for overspending.

It is suggested that such meetings are usually held in clinical trials to attract participants, but if we seek to understand the need for these gatherings, they are much more productive than it is believed.

What is an investigator meeting?

It is a group meeting conducted on behalf of the sponsor/CROs to train investigators and their lead clinical trial staff on trial related activities, standard operating procedures and to talk about the applicable regulatory picture.

The content of an investigator meeting is typically trial specific, however a common agenda, on SOP’s, Adverse Event Reporting, Source Documentation etc.

Why Investigator meetings necessary?

Investigators’ meetings are necessary for the success of a clinical trial. Although face-to – face meetings cost more than web-based meetings, they are highly desirable to allow investigators and research coordinators to network and learn from each other

The meeting has several sessions on every aspect of the clinical trial, addressing the pros and cons of the activities related to the trials. The topic is also expanded to illustrate the potential issues that researchers can face, and how to resolve them.

How to Plan Investigator Meeting?

Following tips helps any event planner navigate successfully to an event:

1. How does an event planner for an investigator meeting even start?

You will need to learn as much detail as possible from your service provider: all who, what, where, where, and how for the meeting; details such as who the necessary attendees are, what the meeting agenda includes, where this meeting will take place, when the meeting will take place, and how much budget is there for the entire meeting.

2.The attendants are now starting to arrive, now what?

A group email announcement to the participants should be sent well in advance of their arrival time / day, outlining the key details that they will need for their arrival.

This will allow the attendees enough time to receive and review the information before boarding a flight, and is an immense chance to send out the overall agenda to the attendees as well! As a personal, yet important touch, send an email to each attendee with their exact travel information, including flight and hotel confirmation numbers, and suggest transportation services that are available once they reach your destination.

Be sure to let them know who to contact upon arrival.

3. Will those last-minute changes ever end?

This can feel like an uphill struggle to get the final copies of meeting materials. Creating and finalizing the meeting materials typically rests with the client, but the event planner may need to know that all the materials are completed and whether copies will be made available to the meeting attendees either electronically (preferably) or hardcopying.

Set a strict deadline for when materials need to be finalized in order to ensure that they get sent to attendees ahead of the meeting and are printed (if needed).

4. There’s no I in team…

Delegation is important at any case, since one person can not be in multiple places at once.

If having a secondary coordinator on site with you is not an option and you need to find out how to be in two positions at once, alert your customer to this and see if they can ask someone on their team to step in for immediate support.

5. Always room for improvement, right?

Print-outs at a meeting can be a bit of an issue. Often the printouts are discarded immediately after the meeting, ending up in the trash can.

If attendants need full access to all meeting materials, look for ways to reduce paper waste by urging participants to use electronic methods first.

Not only is this a significant cost saving as it costs time to plan printed documents at the last minute, but it is also an field of event management that has a tremendous effect on the environment.

Choosing electronic methods over paper printouts is an opportunity to reduce not only costs but also post meeting waste.

An investigator meeting ensures to:

Ensure that all investigators understand how to perform the trial in full compliance with the protocol, SOP’s, instructions and relevant regulations.

• To notify the CRF investigators.
• Register and train the roles of all participating state attorney and their staff before commencing the case.
• In-depth description of the research protocol.
• Facilitate communication between investigators.

The ICH Guideline for GCP states that investigators “will ensure accuracy, completeness, legibility and timeliness of the data reported to the sponsor in the CRFs”.

It is the Investigator Meeting which gives a CRO a primary opportunity to introduce a sponsor to the team of clinical trials. Hence successful execution of IM is seen as representing the team’s capabilities.”

References:

1) ICH – International Conference on Harmonisation Good Clinical Practices, Jan 21st 2012, http://ichgcp.net/4-investigator

https://www.meetingsnet.com/pharmaceutical-meetings/investigating-investigator-meetings

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-53877-8_37

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