The main components of the new US healthcare reform legislation will continue to be subjects for debate in the coming months and years, but tucked in among all of the changes for Medicare beneficiaries, coverage for pre-existing conditions, and the effects on small business owners lies a provision that most laypeople would not even notice. This provision, however, has the attention of US drug and device manufacturers and cannot be ignored.
The Physician Payment Sunshine Provision, also known as the Sunshine Act, requires that these companies publicly report gifts and payments made to physicians and other entities such as teaching hospitals. The intention of the provision is to address the public’s perception that biopharmaceutical companies use payments to influence a physician’s prescription-writing habits and to improve transparency as to what actually does exchange hands, in the form of services and remuneration for those services, and why. Drug and device manufacturers must begin capturing this data in January 2012 and must make their first report on these activities to the Department of Health and Human Services by March 2013. This provision has far-reaching implications for how the medical meetings and event industry will conduct its business in service of the healthcare community for years to come.
The new law requires that every dollar spent on physicians and health care ... read more »
With the Sunshine Act getting closer to implementation, every company that works with thought leaders is preparing for full disclosure and transparency in the way they work and compensate these physicians and other medical experts. So the big question at hand is this–just how many thought leaders should a healthcare manufacturer work with going forward? Some say just a few and others say many. What’s the right answer here?
If we take the argument that working with just a select few is better, one could surmise that it is best to cement a working relationship with a few key thought leaders rather than get to know a “cast of hundreds.” This way, companies may gain a better understanding of the respective key opinion leaders’ interests, preferences, beliefs, and skills. Companies can more effectively create a set of activities that most appropriately matches the skills and experiences of each physician and work with the strengths of each physician to bring new insights into new medical treatment options.
But the one factor working against the “less is more” option is the fact that many academic medical institutions are placing limits on how much remuneration a thought leader can accept from the industry in a given year. Whereas, not too long ago, managed care organizations were placing providers ... read more »
February 14, 2011 (CHAPEL HILL, NC)—Thought Leader Select, a Research Triangle, NC firm focused on collaborations between the biopharmaceutical industry and the medical community, announces the launch of a new media partnership with biopharmaceutical industry blog Marketing4Health.
The research and consulting firm (Thought Leader Select) has signed on to become the blog’sexclusive sponsor, beginning February 14, 2011. With a growing international following and strong readership bases in the United States, Canada, and Europe, Marketing4Health focuses on healthcare and pharmaceutical marketing practices and challenges, as well as emerging trends in technology and social media. Natalie Bourre, the editor of Marketing4Health, is a 13-year industry veteran, with leadership positions at Alcon, Serono, and, most recently at Solvay, where she led the marketing team for Pantoloc (Protonix), which became the 5th largest Rx brand in Canada during her tenure.
“When we were seeking a media partner for 2011, the choice was obvious,” stated Brian Castle, the firm’s director of global marketing and client relations. “Natalie Bourre and Marketing4Health represent a perfect fit for our company, in that she is committed to advising the industry to market new medications in the right ways, whether to medical experts or consumers. With any advertising partnership, we want to drive potential clients our way, and we know that Natalie’s readers are our kind of people—leaders in the industry ... read more »
There’s been plenty of talk in recent months about the impact of social media on the future of healthcare. Many stakeholders are carving out their own space within the social media sphere, with customized strategies that fit their respective ambitions and external pressures, such as regulatory guidelines.
Biopharmaceutical companies are beginning to craft social media strategies and experiment with different activities; the FDA is reviewing potential social media guidelines; and medical professionals are individually using social media in a variety of ways. A recent article in MedAd News says that “according to Manhattan Research, 89 million American adults used social media for health in 2010”. That’s a staggering figure –nearly 30% of the American population used social media sites to discuss health-related issues. Evidence that the use of social media in healthcare is here to stay has even hit pop culture, when last week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy featured Dr. Bailey tweeting her surgery play-by-play. Upon seeing how much visibility his department could attain within the medical community, even Chief Webber jumped on board!
At Thought Leader Select, we’re also examining how to better understand the ways that thought leaders in the medical community use social media. In our quest to stay on top of the trends among medical experts, we’d ... read more »
New press release out today from the offices of Thought Leader Select:
Thought Leader Select announces 50 Percent Annual Growth for 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 3, 2010 (CHAPEL HILL, NC)-Thought Leader Select, a Research Triangle, NC-based research and consulting company serving the biopharmaceutical and healthcare industries, announces 50 percent year-over-year growth for 2010.
Founded in 2006, Thought Leader Select is a specialty firm dedicated to strengthening industry collaborations with medical experts for the development of next generation medicines. The company’s practice area focuses on three aspects of working with key opinion leaders (KOLs) in the medical community: identification and profiling, mapping, and engagement.
During the 2010 fiscal year, the company grew its revenues by 50 percent over fiscal year 2009, according to Kristen Smithwick, Vice President of Business Development, Marketing, and Strategic Planning. “We had a very strong year in 2010, and we have solidified our position as one of the preeminent thought leader engagement companies in the marketplace,” stated Smithwick.
The company marked 2010 by generating a record 28 customized research assessments for 10 of the top 50 global biopharmaceutical companies (measured by revenue). Thought Leader Select identified and profiled over 2500 KOLs in 30 countries. The medical experts represented multiple therapeutic areas and disease states, including neurology, ophthalmology, cardiology, endocrinology, and immunology.
Thought Leader Select used its industry-leading “deep profiling” methodology to ... read more »
The United States Supreme Court has agreed to accept a case regarding the constitutionality of a law passed by the State of Vermont related to the access to prescribing information from practicing physicians. Physicians in Vermont sought this law on the grounds that companies who track prescriber data and re-sell it are invading the privacy of doctors as to how they practice medicine.
Consideration of this case begs many questions. Should such prescribing information be mined by private companies for the purpose of re-selling it to other companies? Should the way a physician prescribes medicines be held in confidence, or should this data be made available to the public? Does the availability of such prescribing information change the way a physician is likely to practice medicine? Does the availability of such information constitute a breach of data privacy for a person in a professional field?
Perhaps one way to examine this issue is to look for parallels in other businesses or professions. Everyone who uses a credit card has such transactional information collected and sold to merchants and companies by third-party data miners. Have you ever wondered why you suddenly receive a catalog in the mail for products similar to one you recently purchased? Or why you received a piece of mail advertising a product ... read more »