Welcome to the 2015 Annual Meeting! We opened the conference with a welcome from ISPE President and CEO John Bournas, and exciting keynote sessions with some of the industry’s most highly regarded leaders. Each keynote speaker enlightened audience members about different aspects of change, transition, and innovation in the pharmaceutical industry today.

2015AM-ANDYISPE 2014 Chair of the Board Andy Skibo started us off with a presentation about the “state of the industry” as well as the current state of our society. Skibo spoke primarily on profound growth and positive change throughout the pharmaceutical industry. For example, he pointed out that soon 70-80% of the pipeline will be large molecules. Plus, we’re seeing 11% growth in oncology, and biologics is driving growth in an emerging market: China.

Skibo compelled Annual Meeting attendees to “ride the wave” and embrace this transition period.

Kathryn Wengel, Worldwide Vice President for Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain, followed Skibo with an encouraging speech on the huge impact we are making as pharmaceutical engineers today. As Wengel put it,

“There has never been a better time to be an engineer in our industry than now.”

With new data and technology emerging, Wengel says engineers are in a position to grow their businesses like never before. She used Johnson & Johnson as an example: in order to maintain healthy growth, the company focuses on visibility, innovation, and the end-to-end value of their products.

Wengel stressed the importance of the consumer: in order to succeed, businesses need an end-to-end value chain that begins and ends with the consumer. And, of course, our consumers are patients that need high-quality medicine. For Johnson & Johnson, it’s all about strengthening patient trust and utilizing innovative technologies to continuously produce high-quality products. Wengel encouraged audience members to adopt the same mentality.

Closing the Keynote Session, Biogen’s Executive Vice President of Pharmaceutical Operations and Technology John Cox spoke on the benefits of implementing innovation. According to Cox,

“Transformation is in our hands, and we have tremendous potential to change lives.”

Cox spoke specifically on our potential to impact patients with special, rare, and neurodegenerative diseases. For example, he pointed out that there are 25 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease around the world. Biogen is working to combat this disease through innovation in biologics manufacturing. According to Cox, disruptive manufacturing technologies, processes and capabilities will maximize the output of large-scale manufacturing plants and help deliver new biologic therapies to patients with illnesses like Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and spinal muscular atrophy. For Cox and his company, innovation has been the key to success.

“Biogen is committed to making a meaningful difference in people’s lives,” said Cox.

Keep up with what’s happening at 2015 Annual Meeting by following ISPE on Twitter: @ISPEorg, #ISPEAM15. Learn more at www.ISPE.org/2015-Annual-Meeting.