Meade Featured as Sunshine Disclosure Expert

October 16, 2014 · Leave a comment

As disclosures of life science industry payments to healthcare professionals continue with rollouts such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Open Payments Database in late September, Thought Leader Select’s Paul Meade has been a sought-after expert on the impact of these disclosures on industry collaborations with key opinion leaders in medicine.

Meade, the company’s founder and president, spent 25 years leading brand and strategy teams at global drug manufacturers Merck and GlaxoSmithKline and understands the critical importance that key opinion leader interactions bring to the table in both medical affairs and commercialization efforts for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies.

In the attached FDA News story (subscription required), Meade provided context for greater understanding on the recently-released CMS database numbers totaling some $3.5 billion in payments to physicians.  He encouraged the media and public to dig deeper in order see how honoraria and especially travel and meal costs can quickly add up as companies engage leading physicians on a broad range of scientific activities that drive product development and peer awareness that ultimately improve patient outcomes and quality of life measures over time.

For more information or media inquiries, please contact Brian Castle, ... read more »

Thought Leader Select Customizes KOL Identification Methodologies in Support of Global Diabetes Initiatives

August 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

By Brian Castle

Throughout most of 2014, Thought Leader Select has been privileged to work with a top-five global biopharmaceutical giant in support of its diabetes portfolio in across the globe. 

For this particular engagement, across several countries with cultural and language differences, stakeholders within the client company needed a customized approach.  The chosen approach must leave no doubt within the organization—nor among the external group of key opinion leaders (KOLs) chosen for engagement—that the company had taken a measured path to selecting the right members of the medical community for outreach and support in diabetes.

From our work with more than 50 leading biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies over the last decade, we know the importance of satisfying competing visions for KOL selection.  Some prefer an objective methodology based on research by subject matter experts, while others prefer a guided process of nominations by trained professionals, often former practitioners themselves, tasked with outreach to leaders in the medical community.

We also know the importance of the respect that the KOLs themselves have for the company and its selection process.  KOLs most obviously and critically form their judgments about companies through their personal interactions with industry representatives at every level, from commercial executives at regional and global headquarters to more locally-based ... read more »

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Thought Leader Select Supports Top Biopharma with KOL Strategies in Head and Neck Cancer

July 1, 2014 · Leave a comment

July 1, 2014 (CHAPEL HILL, NC) Thought Leader Select, a research and consulting firm serving the life sciences industries, has initiated new research and consulting work in support of a top global biopharmaceutical company’s developing portfolio of treatments for head and neck cancer.

The firm’s latest engagement in support of the collaborative work among life sciences companies and leaders in the medical community consists of detailed research and engagement planning for work with experts at Canadian centers of excellence in head and neck cancer. The client company, known worldwide as a leader in the development of prescription medicines, has engaged Thought Leader Select for more support in multiple therapeutic areas and disease states, including key opinion leader and centers of excellence identification and profiling in multiple cancers, diabetes, and infectious diseases.

According to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, head and neck cancers originate in the squamous cells that line the moist areas of the head and neck.  Alcohol and tobacco use, as well as exposure to human papilloma virus, are important risk factors related to the development of many incidences of head and neck cancer.  Physicians diagnose nearly half a million new cases of head and neck cancers worldwide each year.

Thought Leader Select, headquartered ... read more »

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Thought Leader Select’s Meade to Address ExL Pharma KOL Conference

June 17, 2014 · Leave a comment

Thought Leader Select continues with a busy summer schedule of conference sponsorships, with the company’s support of ExL Pharma’s Fifth KOL Relationship Summit in Philadelphia.  Paul Meade, founder and President of Thought Leader Select, will address attendees at one of the must-attend events for American life sciences companies, coming on the heels of the company’s successful sponsorship of the Canadian Healthcare Licensing Association’s Summer Meeting and the Medical Science Liaison Society’s Global Conference in Boston.

The conference, geared to medical affairs and marketing professionals tasked with outreach to and collaboration with key opinion leaders (KOLs) in the medical community, will take place June 24-25 at the Hyatt Bellevue in the Center City area of downtown Philadelphia.  The Summit will feature a variety of speakers from companies within the life sciences industry, as well as consultants from the world of KOL strategy, CRM software, medical communications, and digital engagement platforms for healthcare.

Thought Leader Select’s Meade will lead an afternoon session on day one of the event, speaking on the topic, “Can Industry Still Work Effectively with KOLs?” During his talk, Meade will illustrate many of the challenges facing both industry representatives and thought leaders in the medical community, including transparency, scrutiny, and ... read more »

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Thought Leader Select Sponsors Canadian Healthcare Licensing Association Summer Meeting

June 9, 2014 · Leave a comment

Thought Leader Select sponsored last week’s summer meeting of a leading North American life sciences trade group, the Canadian Healthcare Licensing Association (CHLA).

The CHLA’s summer meeting took place June 4-6 at the Queen’s Landing Resort in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, bringing together dozens of leaders in marketing, reimbursement, and business development from leading global biopharmaceutical firms with Canadian offices.  Thought Leader Select’s global business development consultant Neil Mellor, a director of the organization, attended the meeting along with Paul Meade, founder and President of Thought Leader Select.

The CHLA is a special organization within the Canadian healthcare landscape, with a purpose of stimulating the building of relationships and the development of strategic alliances among companies and institutions engaged in the provision of healthcare products to the Canadian people.  The CHLA is led by an executive committee drawn from a diverse array of constituencies within the organization. The group meets at least three times each year, as guest speakers deliver presentations on topics of interest to the group, with an emphasis on providing opportunities that sharpen skills and facilitate networking on among business development professionals.

For the summer meeting, the CHLA explored the role of payers in the Canadian healthcare system, and their role in collaborating with industry to ... read more »

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MSL Society Boston 2014 Brings Together Global Medical Affairs Community

June 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

Thought Leader Select recently supported the Medical Science Liaison Society’s Boston 2014, an event that brought together nearly 100 members of the global medical affairs community.  MSLs, regional managers and directors, and medical affairs executives from North America, South America, Europe, and Asia attended the MSL Society’s third global conference, hosted by Genzyme at the company’s global headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Thought Leader Select founder and President Paul Meade, global business consultant Allison Murphy, and Brian Castle, the company’s head of marketing attended the three-day event.  Boston 2014 included two major networking events, the opening reception at Genzyme headquarters, as well as a special dinner and tour at Boston’s Museum of Science.  Hosted by MSL Society Chairman Dr. Samuel Dyer and sponsored by Thought Leader Select, the dinner took place at the Museum’s spectacular venue overlooking the Charles River, providing a relaxed setting for socializing and networking for the group.  The dinner also featured the exclusive announcement of Thought Leader Select’s sustaining sponsorship of the MSL Society.

The educational portion of the conference took place on May 21-22 at Genzyme headquarters, featuring a distinguished panel of speakers representing almost every corner of the global medical affairs community. Bill Sybold, Senior Vice President of ... read more »

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Thought Leader Select Supports MSL Society with Sustaining Sponsorship

May 29, 2014 · Leave a comment

May 29, 2014 (CHAPEL HILL, NC AND MIAMI, FL) Thought Leader Select, a research and consulting firm optimizing medical key opinion leader strategies for life sciences companies, has signed an annual sustaining sponsorship agreement with the Medical Science Liaison Society (MSL Society), a global organization aimed at supporting the MSL profession through education and networking opportunities.  

The two organizations began working together in 2012, just after the formal launch of the MSL Society.  Formed by a close-knit group of medical affairs executives from every corner of the globe, the MSL Society is the only 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated entirely to uplifting the MSL profession.  Since its late-2012 launch, the organization has brought together thousands of medical affairs professionals worldwide through social media, newsletters, and global conferences in Philadelphia, Paris, and Boston.

The MSL Society recently launched two initiatives aimed at giving MSLs greater career development opportunities:  1) a global career center that includes MSL-related career articles and the only jobs board exclusively for MSL jobs and 2) the first MSL training program focused on experienced MSLs that includes both live and online learning opportunities.

Thought Leader Select, headquartered in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina, provides research and consulting services to companies in the life sciences industry, ... read more »

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Thought Leader Select Takes Unique Approach to KOL Strategy in Anaphylaxis

May 14, 2014 · Leave a comment

By Brian Castle

In treatment areas where many patients are affected with a variety of diseases and conditions, commercial and medical affairs professionals in life sciences companies have institutional knowledge of the key opinion leaders who push medical science forward.  In most of these areas, the thought leaders are most often physician specialists, such as oncologists, psychiatrists, rheumatologists, or cardiologists.

In some treatment areas, however, multiple professionals play leadership roles.  Such is the case with anaphylaxis.  According to the National Institutes of Health, anaphylaxis is a severe, whole-body allergic reaction to a chemical that has become an allergen.  These chemicals can derive from food, insects, and drugs. In some people, an exposure to a specific chemical sensitizes the immune system, so that subsequent exposures trigger anaphylactic symptoms such as rash, nausea, and cough, culminating in the tightening of the airway.

Since anaphylaxis is most often triggered by exposure to certain foods or insect bites, most patients see this diagnosis from childhood.  Thus, life sciences companies remain focused on evolving devices that are more child-friendly in their delivery of epinephrine doses to stave off severe allergic reactions.

Thought Leader Select has worked in the treatment area of anaphylaxis, and in collaboration with our life science clients, we have determined that this area requires an atypical KOL strategy to support bringing the right devices to parents ... read more »

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Biopharma Tabs Thought Leader Select for KOL, Centers of Excellence Strategies in Atrial Fibrillation

April 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

April 24, 2014 (CHAPEL HILL, NC) Thought Leader Select, a research and consulting firm serving the life sciences industries, recently earned a new engagement supporting a top-10 global biopharmaceutical company’s efforts in the area of atrial fibrillation and stroke prevention.

The client company, known worldwide as a leader in the development of prescription medicines and nutrition products, named Thought Leader Select to help the company develop and implement strategies for outreach to and collaboration with key opinion leaders (KOLs) and medical centers of excellence in critical treatment and prevention of stroke.

According to the World Health Organization, atrial fibrillation, also known as AF or AFib, affects over 33 million people worldwide. AFib is a condition marked by irregular heartbeat, which if left untreated, can result in heart palpitations and a variety of symptoms, such as fatigue. According to the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, if the heart isn’t pumping blood effectively, it can stagnate and clot. If the clots break apart and travel to the brain, they can cause stroke.

Thought Leader Select, headquartered in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina, provides research and consulting services to companies in the life sciences industry, including pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and diagnostics companies. These custom-tailored services support the necessary and critical industry outreach to and collaboration with leading medical experts, the health care ... read more »

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Thought Leader Select Meets Client Needs for More KOLs, Non-Traditional KOLs, Centers of Excellence

April 17, 2014 · Leave a comment

By Brian Castle

A client working to develop new treatments for interstitial lung diseases (ILD) recently approached Thought Leader Select with a new challenge.  An innovative firm, the company realized that it was risking complacency in its thinking, assuming that it knew the right key opinion leaders and centers of excellence in pulmonology to assist in drug development.

Thought Leader Select delivered a comprehensive, cost-effective approach to ensure the company has a more updated understanding of the ILD market.  In addition to helping the company better understand its current roster of KOLs and centers of excellence, Thought Leader Select demonstrated the need to focus efforts at identifying and learning more about other health care professionals who diagnose and treat ILD.

Many product teams have the benefit of sound internal knowledge of globally and nationally-recognized specialist physicians performing breakthrough work in their treatment area.  More problematic for these teams are finding and understanding the work of other health care professionals who play pivotal roles in diagnosis and patient adherence, such as primary care physicians and registered nurses.  For this particular project, Thought Leader Select recognized an unmet need to understand key players in the diagnosis of interstitial lung diseases, pulmonary radiologists and community-based specialists at regional medical centers.

This client engagement is illustrative of several elements that help Thought Leader Select to differentiate its services ... read more »

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