SwAPP was founded in 1995 as the professional association for qualified specialists working in one of the many fields of pharmaceutical medicine and drug development. SwAPP members come from pharmaceutical, Biotech & Medtech companies, contract research organisations, health care institutions, health authorities and ethics committees. SwAPP welcomes members with an academic background, for example in life sciences, biology, pharmaceutics or a similar field, and physicians, as well as non-academic health professionals.
SwAPP promotes a Life Long Learning Program with SwAPP diplomas and continuous professional training. SwAPP is growing continuously and has today more than 300 members. 80% of the members are committed to continuous professional training. A third of all members carry a SwAPP Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine.

We are organised as follows

History of SwAPP

In 1995, leading medical experts in the pharmaceutical industry recognised the need for high quality scientific training for professionals in pharmaceutical medicine. To meet this challenge, representatives from several pharmaceutical companies founded the Swiss
Association of Pharmaceutical Professionals (SwAPP) in the beginning of 1996. The vision of SwAPP was to improve the quality of specialised training in pharmaceutical medicine, in order to ensure efficacious, safe and innovative drug therapies for patients.

In 1997, SwAPP split into the two societies SwAPP for life science specialists and physicians, and the Swiss Society for Pharmaceutical Medicine (SGPM/ASPM) exclusively for physicians. At the same time, SGPM created the specialist title in pharmaceutical medicine for physicians (Facharzt in Pharmazeutischer Medizin FMH). This was an important milestone, with Switzerland being the first country worldwide to implement this board-certified specialisation title to physicians. For life science specialists, the equivalent SwAPP Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine was established. SwAPP and SGMP were soon established partners in the Swiss health care system.

The first Annual Symposium in Pharmaceutical Medicine was held in Berne in November 1995. It quickly became a well established educational and networking event for professionals in pharmaceutical medicine. This joint symposium of SwAPP and SGPM has since been held every year, and celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015.

Devoted to high-quality professional training, SwAPP developed and implemented a GCP eLearning tool for online GCP training and certification. The tool was later out-licensed to another dedicated non-profit organisation (TRREE), which offers free access to the tool. SwAPP also developed an educational certification program, including a SwAPP Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine and other specialised diplomas.

As of 2008, SwAPP initiated a new annual educational event, the Experts Exchange Expertise (ExEx). The ExEx is a combination of plenary sessions, panel discussions and workshops, focusing on hands-on expertise in clinical research, regulatory affairs and medical devices. The topics are highlighted from different viewpoints with expert speakers from private companies, academia, ethical committees and from the Swiss competent authorities.

In order to reach young professionals, SwAPP participates regularly in the annual Life Science Day in Zurich as well as in the Life Science Career Day in Lausanne.

Our Vision

  • SwAPP members are recognized as highly qualified professionals
  • SwAPP is a competent and solution-oriented contact for all partners in pharmaceutical medicine
  • SwAPP strives to ensure high quality and ethical standards as well as professionalism in clinical research and development
  • SwAPP is a networking platform for its members supporting their professional development

Our Mission

  • To support our members in the performance of their professional duties in clinical research and development by offering first rate educational events, a Life Long Learning Program, networking and a career development platform
  • To strengthen the relationship between professionals in clinical development and other stakeholders in pharmaceutical medicine
  • To promote the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge concerning best practices in clinical research and development