August 24, 2010 ·
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Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M. Sc, MPH
Just last week, the Mayo Clinic announced landmark research regarding the use of stem cells to repair damaged heart tissue. A significant breakthrough for people with heart damage is finally on the horizon, which will impact millions of people across the globe. But only a week later, a judge has ruled that, under the law passed by former President George W. Bush banning the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, the use of destroyed embryos from fertility clinics violates a federal statute. Once again, the medical research community has had to deal with yet another setback with regard to the use of stem cells.
The opponents of stem cell research claim that using an embryo that has been destroyed by a fertility clinic to obtain stem cells amounts to “taking a human life.” It seems rather puzzling that some people, who devote their entire lives to doing good and serving the needy, stop short of allowing the medical research community to achieve significant advances in eliminating diseases because of an endless battle to define life. Many devoutly religious people travel to developing nations to become missionaries and offer help to those in need, yet they can somehow overlook the tremendous good from stem cell research that can help the medically disadvantaged. Of course, ... read more »
August 19, 2010 ·
Industry Insight from Paul Meade, M. Sc, MPH
When we visit a doctor and receive a prescription for a medication to treat our illness, we assume that this drug will work. But can we be sure? Well, most of the time the medicine you receive will do the job as prescribed. You might get an unexpected side effect from the medication, or even an expected one that is commonly found to occur with a particular drug–but they generally do the job.
We are learning more and more that some drugs just don’t seem to work for certain people in the population. We have learned recently that a popular drug to fight colon and lung cancer, bevacizumab (Avastin), is being considered for withdrawal from using it for breast cancer, despite some cancer patients responding to it. Why do some people respond to a drug and others don’t? The answer may be found in biomarkers.
Our genome, with its 3 billion base pairs and tens of thousands of genes, is basically the code for the many different ways people interact with their environment, from the food we eat to the drugs we take. And despite an amazing commonality among everyone’s respective genetic makeup, we all have enough differences to account for a variable response ... read more »
August 18, 2010 ·
Lynda Scott joined Thought Leader Select as a research manager in the spring of 2010, after serving the company for three years as a researcher. A native of South Africa, Lynda brings a global perspective into the world of medicine, specializing in leading the company’s research on medical centers of excellence all over the world.
Lynda is no stranger to centers of excellence, having worked in clinical departments in radiotherapy and nuclear medicine in some of South Africa’s premier teaching hospitals and clinics. She holds a master of health science in medical radiation sciences from the University of Sydney (Australia).
Lynda has published research findings in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology, as well as presenting her research at Duke University Medical Center.
The Thought Leader Select Blog sat down with Lynda to discuss her industry experience and her professional contribution to Thought Leader Select.
TLS Blog: Good afternoon, Lynda. Why did you join Thought Leader Select?
Lynda Scott: I’ve been involved in medical research, in both a large hospital setting and private practice, and many of my patients were involved in clinical trials. When an opportunity at Thought Leader Select came along, I wanted to remain in the medical field and still really make a difference in the lives of patients. I loved that I could achieve both of ... read more »
August 11, 2010 ·
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Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M. Sc, MPH
Quality measures in healthcare have been sadly lacking for many years, despite the recognition that this information was needed to optimize healthcare delivery. Information technology is the key driver to obtaining quality measures. Advances in outcomes research, access to claims information, greater data processing capabilities, integration of information systems, implementation of electronic medical records, and accurate and meaningful quality measures will lead to vast improvements in the delivery of optimal healthcare. But who cares?
It is likely that quality measures will lead to the greatest improvements in healthcare, and ultimately drive costs down. And this makes us all winners! When all healthcare providers are accountable not only for the care they offer, but also for the quality of that care, then the economics of the system will improve to generate the greatest value. As the saying goes, “The most expensive treatment is the one that doesn’t work.” Quality measures have a way of weeding out the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness of a system. And who doesn’t want the most effective healthcare at the least cost!
One potential unintended consequence of improving outcomes and quality measures is the temptation to ration healthcare delivery. Remember, quality is a function of cost verses benefit to derive maximum value. So going too far down the path of quality could ... read more »
August 4, 2010 ·
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08.04.2010 – (CHAPEL HILL, NC)—Thought Leader Select, a North Carolina company dedicated to delivering sophisticated key opinion leader (KOL) research solutions to the biopharmaceutical industry, announces the commencement of an ophthalmology key opinion leader assessment for a top global biopharmaceutical company.
The client company, currently developing a large portfolio of new medicines, has contracted the firm for its seventh major research assessment of the Canadian medical community. Thought Leader Select will utilize its deep profiling methodology to deliver detailed information on the skills and experiences of leading eye doctors across Canada’s ten provinces.
In addition to the KOL profiles, Thought Leader Select will also deliver access to its exclusive web-based expert tool used to optimize physician teams for a variety of development activities.
“We’re obviously quite happy to begin our seventh project for this very important and much valued client,” stated Neil Mellor, Thought Leader Select’s business development consultant for North America. “While we’ve worked in dozens of therapeutic areas and disease states, we really know the ophthalmology landscape quite well. That translates into superior work that drives value for our clients and their brands.”
About Thought Leader Select
Thought Leader Select, based in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, delivers a variety of solutions—research, technology tools and focused advice/consulting—for more effective thought leader engagement in the healthcare industry. Thought Leader Select’s groundbreaking ... read more »
August 2, 2010 ·
Key opinion leaders (KOLs) are health care leaders who make a high-impact footprint while advancing medical science. Thought Leader Select specializes in delivering objective, validated data on the skills and experiences of KOLs, so that pharmaceutical companies can seek their advice and guidance in the development of new medicines.
Over the past several years, Thought Leader Select has studied physician key opinion leaders who treat diabetes and analyzed their involvement in many areas, including clinical research, treatment guidelines involvement, publishing, reimbursement involvement and participation in advocacy efforts. In a recent assessment of nearly 500 diabetes KOLs across the United States, Thought Leader Select examined their participation in patient advocacy activities. Using keywords to link these KOLs with such activities, Thought Leader Select found that 62% of physicians regularly take part in patient advocacy efforts, such as participation in advocacy organizations, patient education or legislative efforts (see Chart 1).
Of the 301 KOLs with advocacy involvement, most take part in five or fewer activities, while only 3% of them boast 10 or more advocacy activities and/or awards. In addition to activities through the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) – especially the American College of Endocrinology’s Power of Prevention (POP) program – top advocacy initiatives and organizations include:
• Taking ... read more »