ECTRIMS - Prof G Day-1 Update

I have now been at ECTRIMS for just over 24 hours. I arrived Monday night and started with a dinner meeting (nice local restaurant – no champagne). Got to discuss what I think about the MSer/patient pathway and where I see service development in  the future. Got back to my hotel at 11pm and worked until 2am. Got up up at 6.30am on Tuesday and did 2 hours work preparing my lecture for the teaching course. For those of you who are interested I have posted the lecture on the web for you. I then had a quick breakfast and caught up with some close friends in the hotel lobby. Fortunately, my morning meeting was cancelled so I could do some more work on my lecture and process a few emails; I have over 1900 emails in my inbox. I then went to a lunchtime meeting of the BioMS Consortium (Biomarkers in MS) and left early for the NH Hotel at the airport for the teaching course; the trip was 35 minutes. I can't understand why the organisers held the teaching course so far out of town. My talk went well and I returned to conference centre to attend a steering committee meeting that lasted 3 hours. The committee meeting was in relation to one of the new DMTs. The meeting was mainly focused on safety ; there was no bad news presented. I then went for a quick dinner with the members of the steering committee at a local restaurant attached to the hotel (no champagne; the wine was served in carafes). The food was tasty; too much cream! I skipped pudding and returned to my room at 10pm. I worked until 1.45am and slept well. Was up at 6.30am doing emails, preparing my plenary talk for Saturday and blogging. From now have back-to-back meetings with literally no space in my diary until I leave for home late on Saturday afternoon.

I caught a glimpse of the exhibition floor last night as the Pharma stands were being assembled. It is no different to last year, possibly more flash. It is clear that the Red Queen is alive and running; that is running on the spot and going nowhere in a hurry. I really wonder if the classic/traditional marketing model that Pharma adopts is the best way to get neurologists to prescribe their drugs. In fact I would be surprised if Pharma knows how to measure the cost-effectiveness of their marketing at meetings such as this.

I went through all the teaching material and platform presentations last night. I don’t think there is going to be anything ground-breaking presented at this year’s ECTRIMS. There is a lot of recycled data from the clinical trials and some new data on me to drugs. A lesson that will come across loud and clear is that we are not very good at measuring progressive disease and our current trial design needs an overhaul. I am therefore looking forward to hearing the talks from Jeremy Hobart and John Zajicek on the CUPID study and Fred Lublin and Garry Cutter on the Combi-Rx trial. 

Enough for now! May be a glass of champagne tonight?