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Sneak peak into drug company exhibits at ASH

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Sneak peak into drug company exhibits at ASH

Earlier in the week I promised to write a bit about the exhibit areas you find at ASH and ASCO events.

With exhibit budgets often exceeding one million dollars, there are some pretty impressive displays.

Members sign an agreement not to take any pictures in the exhibit hall.  I’m not sure why this is necessary.  Probably has something to do with copyrights and licensing rights.  But more likely it is to protect the drug companies from public criticism connected with the lavish, over-the-top nature of many of these exhibits–some over two stories high and the size of a large home.

I never signed such an agreement, but I was asked twice not to take pictures.  And when it looked like an angry gentleman might take my camera away, I backed-off.

But I did take this shot of part of the Vidacare exhibit, along with several of the staff members I know.

Vidacare is an example of a smaller medical tech manufacturing company.  Their primary product, OnControl, is a mechanized drill used for performing bone marrow biopsies (BMB).

Using this drill helps the procedure move along more quickly which helps reduce pain and provides pathologists with a better core sample of the bone marrow.  Moffitt Cancer Center used the OnControl device last time I had a BMB and it worked great!  Very little pain, swelling or discoloration at the core site.  I was impressed!

You might want to request this method next time you are scheduled to undergo your BMB.

I don’t work for Vidacare.  But they did buy some of my books to distribute to their staff and clients.  I thought that was a great idea!  I also attended a book signing at their booth last summer in Chicago.

Since Millennium pays for me to speak to multiple myeloma support groups on their behalf, I didn’t think they would mind if I shared a picture of their booth with my readers.

A mid-sized pharmaceutical company, Millennium has what I would consider a larger than average exhibit area.  Featuring several different sections and dozens of helpful staff, I can only imagine how much it costs to ship the materials, set them up, operate it three or four days, break it all down and ship it back…

I didn’t want to sneak any pictures without permission, but the two or three Millennium exhibits would fit in the Roche, Pfizer or Squibb display areas.

Novartis is another large player in the oncology field–and they have a correspondingly large display area commensurate with their standing in the field.

All of this is spread-out in a large convention center area the size of a half dozen football field.

Tucked in back along the outside walls  of the exhibit hall are much smaller non-profit booths, featuring groups like the IMF, MMRF, Amyloidosis Foundation and lots of other leukemia and lymphoma related not for profits.

They aren’t always easy to find, but you can learn a lot by stopping by and speaking with the helpful volunteers back there.

That said, I always learn a lot just by wondering up and down the isles, gazing at the different panoramic displays and grabbing information about ongoing clinical trials and speaking to drug reps.

ASCO’s (the American Society of Clinical Oncology) exhibit area is even larger, since it features elaborate displays sponsored by all of the world’s largest oncology drug companies.

This is big business, boys and girls!  I recommend you visit sometime if you get a chance.  It can be tough getting in, though.   Better have one of the drug reps which comes to speak to your support groups hook you up with a visitors pass.

I will try and get some additional “covert” shots when I visit ASCO in Chicago the first week of June.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat