Thanks to evolving technology, medical information teams must also update their methods for receiving and answering unsolicited inquiries. Medical communications teams have already begun looking to web portals and other Internet-enabled request modalities, as well as considering how to best monitor social media. However, teams should also adjust their communications with field forces such as medical science liaisons (MSLs). Continue reading
Like all sub-functions in medical affairs, investigator-initiated trial (IIT) teams are being pressured to provide upper management with performance metrics to demonstrate team value. The underlying purpose of these metrics is to show team activity, efficiency and success. Useful IIT performance metrics include the number of submissions received and approved, the number of resulting publications and the length of time it took the evaluation committee to approve a proposal and negotiate the clinical trial agreement (CTA) with the vendor. Continue reading
Clinical data transparency continues to reflect a growing theme across the life sciences industry. Over the years, many life sciences organizations, including Janssen and Novartis, have established initiatives allowing physicians and other scientific researchers to access clinical research findings through online portals. Regulatory agencies in the US and Europe alike have also worked to expand existing public access to clinical trial outcomes. Continue reading
When frontline communication with doctors comes to mind, many life sciences companies will turn to the commercial side of their organization. After all, pharma sales reps are the ones touching base with physicians and presenting the product to them. But within their medical information groups companies should also look to pharmaceutical call centers for another perspective on how doctors are approaching and using their products. Continue reading
Life sciences companies point to the outsourcing of MSLs as a way for field-based medical teams to pilot new programs and activities while avoiding the risks of taking on fulltime headcount. Whether the activity is HEOR, managed care, or whether it is testing a hybrid medical science liaison position, it is fairly simple to contract one or two experienced MSLs to pilot it out in the field, see how it goes, and then learn the results. Continue reading
Just like virtually every other function within pharmaceutical organizations, medical information teams must make strong cases to increase — and often simply justify — budget and personnel resources. For many medical information leaders, one avenue to justifying their resources is an expansion of their teams’ duties beyond the primary duty of answering inquiries placed by internal and external clients. Continue reading
There are many key elements to running a successful investigator sponsored trials (ISTs) program, such as:
- Evaluating IST proposals efficiently
- Only approving ISTs that have high scientific merit and align with corporate research objectives
- Maintaining compliance with fair market value (FMV) and milestone payments
The investigator sponsored trials evaluation committee is at the heart of many of these processes. A company’s IST team runs the program, but the IST committee is responsible for evaluating the submissions. Continue reading
Investigator-initiated trial (IIT) teams constantly strive to prove value to their companies. In today’s pharmaceutical environment, it is not enough to merely approve trials suited to company research objectives. Rather, teams must approve these trials and negotiate clinical trial agreements (CTAs) efficiently. Continue reading
Medical publications remain an important consideration for companies’ dedicated and non-dedicated medical affairs staff. Earlier this year, Cutting Edge Information conducted a study examining companies’ guiding medical publication strategies and their annual output patterns.
Figure 1 shows that the highest percentage of surveyed companywide, business unit and country-level teams ranked the following as extremely relevant publication goals: Continue reading
It’s no secret that our communication practices continually evolve to match our communication capabilities. Why write a letter when you can make a phone call? Or call when you can send an email or text message? Why not use any number of social channels to reach out to, not just people you know, but the companies that you support? Medical information teams must now take on the daunting task of meeting customers — both patients and physicians — where they operate, while still remaining compliant.
Many pharma companies’ medical information teams receive requests via a number of different channels, including telephone, email, social media and fax. Physicians may also submit inquiries through intermediaries such as sales reps and medical science liaisons (MSLs). While traditional channels — telephone and reps — remain prominent, digital channels are gaining traction. One interviewed call center manager noted, “I’d say that just as recently as 3 or 4 years ago, three-fourths of our medical inquiries came in on fax or letter or phone call. Now I’d say that over two-thirds come in by email.” Continue reading