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International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society
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        VOLUME 28, ISSUE 2 • JUNE 2024.  Full issue »

Sucesses and growth of the MDS Industry Education and Service Committee

The MDS Industry Education Committee, now known as the MDS Industry Education and Services Committee, was started in 2013 after executives and senior leadership at MDS realized there was a gap in up-to-date knowledge and needs for our industry colleagues in relation to Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other movement disorders, especially understanding the patient journey and the drug development pipeline.  

The original Committee was chaired and developed under the leadership of Dr. Charles Adler and grew to include members from the AOS, ES, and PAS. Because the initiatives developed by IES have a global reach, and industry activities are relevant to patients with PD and other movement disorders worldwide, the current chair Prof. K. Ray Chaudhuri and vice chair Dr. Alfonso Fasano worked with the committee past-Chair Dr. Charles Adler, MDS President Dr. Victor Fung, and Society management to expand the Committee during the 2023 MDS International Congress in Copenhagen, so it would have even greater global representation.  

The current Committee comprises 16 members from all sections including the USA (Dan Weintraub, Kathleen Shannon, Raj Pahwa, Charles Adler), Canada (Alfonso Fasano), Argentina (Marcelo Merello), Italy (Angelo Antonini), Poland (Karolina Poplawska-Domaszewicz), UK (K. Ray Chaudhuri), South Africa (Riaan van Coller), Saudi Arabia (Zakiyah Aldaajani), India (Rupam Borgohain), China (Shengdi Chen), Taiwan (Yih-Ru Wu), Japan (Nobutaka Hattori), and Australia (Thomas Kimber). The group reflects a diverse global gender-balanced committee of MDS members who have close interaction with industry colleagues in their own countries. The work is coordinated by Brett Kell, MDS Director of Business Development.  

Committee initiatives and strategy

The first standalone meeting on PD was attended by 42 industry colleagues in Scottsdale, AZ, USA in 2013, directed by Dr. Adler. This was followed by the first pre-MDS Congress Industry Course presented in 2014 in Stockholm, Sweden, led jointly by Dr. Adler and Prof. Joaquim Ferreira.

The Committee has thereafter focused on three types of activities that engage industry partners and generate revenues for the Society:
  1. The showpiece standalone pre-MDS Congress industry courses that cover all aspects of PD and other atypical parkinsonisms, presented by a chosen faculty of five or six experts and including a patient and caregiver panel;  
  2. Tailored courses, specific to a single company, developed in cooperation with each company to address its own needs; 
  3. Expert panels, serving as a one-time advisory panel designed to address a narrow set of questions specific to a company, initially conceived with the help of Dr. Christopher Goetz and now incorporated as part of the MDS IES Committee mission.

There have been 11 pre-MDS Congress and PAS Congress industry courses that have each hosted 30-90 industry representatives and been very well received. These then led to the development of 7 tailored courses on PD, as well as essential tremor.  

The expert panels are usually during one of the International or Regional Section congresses, and are a separate initiative that aims to provide expert review, critical insights, and dialogue between a single company’s industry representatives and IES Committee-approved MDS experts attending the Congresses. The subject matter rests at the discretion of the company, and the format is similar to a company-organized advisory board. Unlike advisory boards, these initiatives have the clear advantage of giving companies access to a large number of MDS experts who may not be available for industry interaction. The format has proved popular, and multiple expert panels are already planned for the Congress in Philadelphia in September 2024. The format usually involves a 90-minute panel discussion based on the topics chosen by industry, foundation, or government partners, and is approved by the MDS IES Chairs and leadership. 

The current aims of the MDS IES Committee are to continue the work of the IES as established, and include the following: 
  1. Reach out to industry colleagues globally, specifically targeting new growth areas, such as disease modification in PD, management of non-motor symptoms, and palliative care, and continuing the work of the Committee started by Dr. Adler and colleagues. 
  2. Encourage global participation in the pre-Congress Parkinson’s Disease Education Course for Industry Professionals
  3. Identify new industry partners, including startups, who may benefit from advice on drug pipeline from experts they may not have access to otherwise. 
  4. Develop online, bespoke educational courses delivered by MDS members for industry colleagues for training of staff in sales and research. 
  5. Formulate pathways to encourage diversity in clinical trials, as data suggest a lack of inclusion of black, Asian, and other minority ethnic groups (Lau et al JPD 2023). 


The MDS Industry Education and Service Committee is firmly entrenched as yet another activity from MDS that aims to develop a highly useful and successful partnership with our industry colleagues to enable bespoke training and information in various formats, which can range from expert panels to tailored courses. 

New initiatives include exploring local expert panels, online bespoke teaching material aimed towards specific industry educational needs, and other educational provisions for Industry colleagues at a global level. 



Y.H. Lau, A. Podlewska, J. Ocloo, A. Gupta, C. Gonde, B.R. Bloem, K.R. Chaudhuri, Does 
Ethnicity Influence Recruitment into Clinical Trials of Parkinson's Disease?, J Parkinsons Dis 
12(3) (2022) 975-981. 


Read more Moving Along:

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