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 Announces Hiring of Carol Younkin

February 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

February 4, 2014 (CHAPEL HILL, NC) Thought Leader Select, a research and consulting firm serving the life sciences industries of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, and diagnostics, announces the hiring of Carol Younkin to a leadership position in its in-house research group.

Younkin takes on the research manager role at Thought Leader Select after nearly two decades serving pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly in a variety of capacities, most recently as a medical science liaison supporting the company’s diabetes and growth disorders portfolios. In other roles at Lilly, Younkin managed company relationships with over 100 national and global thought leaders in endocrinology, provided training and consultation to Lilly’s endocrine medical science liaison teams, and developed internal systems for identifying, profiling, and engaging leading medical experts to assist the company in the development of its portfolio of treatments for diabetes.

In her new role at Thought Leader Select, Younkin will lead efforts to identify key opinion leaders and centers of excellence to meet life sciences industry client directives in multiple therapeutic areas and diseases.

Younkin earned a doctorate in health sciences from A.T. Still University and a master’s in health education from Kent State University, where she also earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing.  Her post-graduate studies focused ... read more »

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Global Pharma Giant Tabs Thought Leader Select to Optimize KOL Engagements in Diabetes

November 26, 2013 · Leave a comment

November 26, 2013 (CHAPEL HILL, NC) Thought Leader Select, a consulting firm to the life sciences industries, recently earned new work in support of global key opinion leader (KOL) initiatives in diabetes for a top five global biopharmaceutical company.

The client company, one of the world’s top ten industry leaders in the development of medications across multiple therapeutic areas, tabbed North Carolina’s Thought Leader Select to assist them with upcoming and ongoing initiatives with global KOLs in diabetes, in support of its portfolio of insulin and other medications.

According to International Diabetes Federation estimates, nearly 400 million people worldwide suffer from some form of diabetes.  That number is expected to escalate to nearly 600 million by 2035.

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 professionals that advance treatment options and promote better public health at regional, national, and global levels.

For this global diabetes initiative, Thought Leader Select’s in-house research team will identify nearly 200 global KOLs in diabetes from a range of countries and regions, including the United States and Canada, western Europe, China, Latin America, Asia, and ... read more »

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Thought Leader Select’s Murphy Named to MSLS Advisory Committee

November 15, 2012 · Leave a comment

The Medical Science Liaison Society, a non-profit focused on advancing the Medical Science Liaison career in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries, has named Thought Leader Select’s Allison Murphy to its global advisory committee.

The MSL Society, led by Dr. Samuel Dyer from its Florida headquarters, is bringing the global MSL community together through a variety of educational and networking platforms, including webinars, white papers, conferences, and multiple social media outlets.  Dr. Dyer and the MSL Society team of advisors are collaborating with several premier industry partners, including First Word Reports and EyeforPharma.

Prior to joining Thought Leader Select as a global sales consultant in 2012, Murphy spent the previous decade of her career working as a Medical Science Liaison at Eli Lilly and Company in the therapeutic area of Endocrinology.  Murphy collaborated with multiple Key Opinion Leaders to drive Lilly’s medical initiatives in support of products aimed at treating conditions ranging from diabetes to growth disorders.

“I am very proud to be a part of the MSL Society’s global advisory committee,” stated Murphy.  “I know first-hand from my days at Lilly that there weren’t enough of the right resources and networking opportunities for MSLs and Medical Affairs executives, to help them advance their careers and ... read more »

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Top Canadian Pharma Chooses Thought Leader Select for Diabetes KOLs in Nursing, Pharmacy

September 27, 2012 · Leave a comment

(CHAPEL HILL, NC) Thought Leader Select, a Chapel Hill, NC-based consulting firm serving the biopharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostics industries, announces the commencement of a national engagement in gastroenterology with a top Canadian biopharmaceutical company.

The company, part of a select group of global leaders in drug development for products treating type and type II diabetes, approached Thought Leader Select for support with scientific advisory boards and continuing health education (CHE) initiatives across multiple Canadian provinces.  Having already worked with Thought Leader Select to form a roster of key opinion leaders in Canadian endocrinology circles, the company will round out its roster of key opinion leaders by deploying Thought Leader Select’s team to assess the skills and experiences of registered nurses and clinical pharmacists around the country.

Known for the versatility of applications for its in-house research, Thought Leader Select’s research group will analyze the skills and experience of registered nurses and pharmacists in multiple areas where they collaborate with leading physicians to advance the science of medicine and patient care, including basic and clinical research, scientific journal publishing, treatment guidelines, and more.

Throughout the remainder of the engagement, Thought Leader Select’s consulting team will provide strategic guidance, tactical recommendations for strengthening key opinion leader relationships in the nursing and pharmacy communities, and a suite of tools to promote collaborative work with KOLs.

“Thought ... read more »

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Can Analyzing Social Networks Really Find Thought Leaders?

February 28, 2012 · Leave a comment

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M. Sc., MPH

There has been quite a lot of noise lately regarding the use of social network techniques to find key opinion leaders in the medical profession. Whether it’s through what some call social network analysis or the creation of health care professional-only social networks, proponents of these methods like to think that they are reinventing thought leadership and its metrics.

In fact, some advocates even suggest they can find more key opinion leaders in the medical field than by using other tried and tested, and sometimes validated approaches. Can this be true? Well, it depends on how these companies, and better yet, how the end users of their services, define thought leaders or key opinion leaders (KOLs).

There are those with backgrounds in information technology, as well as social sciences such as sociology and psychology, and other areas outside healthcare who are trying to redefine thought leadership in medicine to fit the template of the products they are selling.  For example, some of them have taken concepts of social interactions and applied them to finding those medical experts that either publish together or even present at similar conferences. But just because someone writes a paper with someone else doesn’t mean they are both KOLs. In fact, the contrary is often the case.

So let’s back up and ... read more »

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Thought Leader Select Seeking New Sales Executive in U.S. Market

February 8, 2012 · Leave a comment

Thought Leader Select is looking for a dynamic, talented individual to fill its newest U.S. Sales Executive position.

Founded in 2006, Thought Leader Select is a firm that serves the biopharmaceutical industry by providing strategic counsel on the best ways to work with medical experts (known as “thought leaders” and “key opinion leaders”) and assessing experts within a host of therapeutic areas such as diabetes, oncology, and neurology.

Interested applicants should go to the company’s human resources site for more information on this exciting opportunity.

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Beyond the Specialist: The Growing Importance of Thought Leadership in Primary Care, Allied Health Professions

January 12, 2012 · Leave a comment

By Brian Castle and Kristen Smithwick

When most people think about thought leaders in medicine, specialists in oncology, neurology, rheumatology and other therapeutic areas immediately come to mind.  However, with the proliferation of illnesses and conditions ranging from diabetes and obesity to asthma, gastrointestinal diseases and psychiatric disorders, key opinion leaders in primary care and allied health professions are more important than ever.

In addition to the growing incidence of several “lifestyle” conditions, the structure of U.S. healthcare dictates that people suffering in these areas see their primary care physicians (PCPs), nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists with much greater frequency than their specialists.  As a result, more PCPs and allied health professionals are joining their specialist colleagues in all of the critical areas that define thought leadership, including publishing, basic and clinical research, clinical practice, speaking, and advocacy involvement.

Thought Leader Select has conducted multiple assessments of thought leader populations in a variety of therapeutic areas, with particular attention to the impact of PCPs, also known as general practitioners, in areas of treatment as diverse as diabetes, allergies, infectious disease, and gastrointestinal conditions.  Primary care physicians, along with their nurse practitioner (NP), physician assistant (PA), and registered nurse colleagues, consistently distinguish themselves in many of the traditional areas of thought leadership once assumed to be the domain of specialists and sub-specialists.

Leaders ... read more »

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Fast Facts from Thought Leader Select—Trends in Diabetes Research among U.S. Primary Care Physicians

January 6, 2011 · 6 comments

The International Diabetes Federation Atlas (http://www.diabetesatlas.org) reports that 285 million people aged 20-79 years globally have diabetes, a disease impacting most countries. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, diabetes affects 23.6 million people or 7.8% of the U.S. population. It is no wonder, then, that millions of dollars are spent every year to fund research that will treat and perhaps cure the disease.

Certainly, endocrinologists and a host of other specialty physicians participate in basic and clinical research sponsored by government entities, academic institutions, professional societies and biopharmaceutical companies. However, primary care physicians (PCPs) are also widely involved in diabetes research. The diversity of patient populations and illnesses treated by PCPs make them desirable investigators, especially when the research seeks to understand diabetic co-morbidities, how the disease affects different populations, and better ways to help patients manage their diabetes.

Thought Leader Select recently studied the research activities of more than 150 primary care thought leaders (TLs) in the United States and identified several interesting trends about their research activities in general, as well as those related to diabetes research. We found that 86% of primary care TLs are regularly involved in basic and clinical research efforts. Of those 134 actively conducting research, more than half are involved in diabetes-related projects (see Chart 1). More ... read more »

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