Pharmaceutical meetings are productive ways of conveying important technical information to the medical fraternity. Busy practitioners often find it difficult to set aside time at their clinics for industry representatives, and prefer to listen to presentations on new products and findings at venues away from their places of work. Speakers at pharmaceutical meetings may also be working doctors, making it necessary to have suitable and neutral venues at which peers can listen to actual experiences with new technologies. Senior doctors are particularly dependant on pharmaceutical meetings as an integral means of their continuing medical education. These are the major reasons for the convention of pharmaceutical meetings as a means of professional communication between sections of industry, medical practitioners, and consultants. Many sponsors of pharmaceutical meetings compete for the time and attention of doctors; with the result that the cream of the medical fraternity is careful about which invitations they accept.

The principles of ethical selling demand that pharmaceutical meetings are conducted with decorum. Sponsors must guard against turning these events into thinly disguised ways of unduly influencing prescription behavior. The industry is built on trust, and a sponsor who lavishes extraordinary hospitality on participating doctors is likely to be looked at askance, not just by leading members of the medical community, but by other sections of society, as well. Judgment matters, as much as resources and organizing abilities, when it comes to the best pharmaceutical meetings. These events may last for just an hour, as in the case of a brief presentation of a brand extension, or be spread over more than a day, as in the case of a presentation on a new technique, or a discussion on a complex subject with many controversial facets. There is a fine line to be drawn between catering to the basic needs of participating doctors, and abusing their attendance with garish and plush offerings, completely out of proportion to the technical information content on offer.

A single window solution is for an intending sponsor to use the services of a certified and fully resourced professional organizer of pharmaceutical meetings. Such an organization can take care of the myriad things which need to be coordinated for pharmaceutical meetings to run well, and use internal control systems to ensure that events are not staged in such an ostentatious manner that important doctors may take offence, or such that the image and credibility of a sponsor suffers. Not everyone is familiar with the conditions of the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) with respect to pharmaceutical meetings, but strict adherence to such guidelines pays off in the long run. Similarly, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has a code of conduct for pharmaceutical meetings, by which sponsors should abide in their own best interests.