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Mon 4 Feb 2008 05:51 PM

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High cost of CME for Arab Health exhibitors

A heavily-increased academic programme left Arab Health 2008 starved of end-users, some exhibitors have complained to Medical Times.

A heavily-increased academic programme left Arab Health 2008 starved of end-users, some exhibitors have complained to Medical Times.

The educational programme encompassed 18 internationally accredited conferences and included over 400 speakers, but with compulsory medical education beginning to be introduced to the region, physicians were keen to clock up valuable hours.

One marketing manager of a prominent international supplier, who wished to remain anonymous, questioned whether the event still represented value for money. "It has become very expensive and when you don't get the results and the end-users are not there it is a waste of time," she said.

The vast majority of supplier contracts had been agreed before the show, she added, and she raised doubts over whether Arab Health should continue in its annual form.

"I feel that it should be once every two years - every year is too much," she said.

Her comments were echoed by Jurgen Klein, vice president of German-based Erbe, who noted there was a distinct lack of physicians on the exhibition floor.

"We have been coming to Arab Health since the mid-seventies and it has been a great show for distributor contacts, manufacturer contacts and all the regions have been present," he said. "But what we are missing is the presence of the medical community - the end-users."

Lynn Collins, marketing manager for Promotal, felt the show had been an improvement on last year in terms of end-users. But she admitted Promotal had been proactive in ensuring doctors reached the stand.

"We have our distributors here and they brought us the end users, but I don't know what it has been like for other companies," she said.

Collins remarked that fewer Middle Eastern customers had attended the world's leading medical trade fair, Medica, in November and now favoured Arab Health: "We have noticed that a lot of the local customers didn't come to Medica, but are present at Arab Health," she said.

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