For those operating within the pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors, investigator meetings are undoubtedly one of the most important meetings to take place.

They provide healthcare professionals with the crucial training they need in order to know how to participate in the clinical trials that will move their drugs and devices forward.

But, what are the tricks for a successful meeting?

At the 2017 Pharma Forum Conference, Heidi Cocca, meeting manager at Merck, shared her advice on delivering a successful investigator meeting and we wholeheartedly agree. We wanted to share it with you and so here are her ‘three C’s’ to a successful meet:

  1. Compliance: According to Cocca, there are three different areas to approach compliance:
    1. Internal compliance such as meetings policy, travel policy and protection policies.
    2. Country requirements: this relates to the policies of the HCP’s home country e.g. caps on meal expenditure.
    3. Pharma compliance: Ensuring compliances with the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use, or ICH, guidelines and transparency reporting.

Each of the above should be adhered to and respected if you are to stay within the compliance framework requirements.


  1. Consistency: Consistency is another important factor to help ensure investigators come away with the same knowledge and experience of the drugs and devices, regardless of where the meeting took place or who they met with. “We want to make sure that if you are an investigator from South Carolina, you walk away with the same knowledge and experience as an investigator from the Ukraine,” she said. Consistency needs to transcend through:
    1. Cost-effectiveness
    2. Learning styles
    3. Content

Consistency is also important as it also helps ensure that your meetings are in line with the industry standard so HCP’s don’t perceive your investigator meetings as an easy provider of meals and accommodation.


  1. Cost Effectiveness: While cost-saving is important, it should be remembered that this doesn’t necessarily mean cutting back, it’s more about making sure you get value for your money. Your responsibility should be with looking at the most effective means of building relationships and training HCPs. Spend enough so that they see the value, but not too much that they come to expect it time after time.

Taking this approach could help you get the most out of your meetings. Cocca however also stressed that remembering to pay attention to learning styles, getting your content right and encouraging interaction must sit right at the heart in the delivery of any investigator meetings too.


If you need help with your investigator meetings, give us a call or book a free consultation with us face to face or over the phone / skype.

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