Biopharma Giant Tabs Thought Leader Select for Initiatives in Companion Diagnostics for Oncology Products

July 9, 2013 · Leave a comment

July 9, 2013 (CHAPEL HILL, NC) A global biopharmaceutical leader has chosen Thought Leader Select to perform critical research and advisory work in support of key opinion leader initiatives advancing companion diagnostics for oncology medications.

Thought Leader Select, headquartered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, provides research and consulting services to companies in the life sciences industry, including pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and diagnostics companies, as they reach out to and collaborate with leading medical experts to advance treatment options and promote better health worldwide.

For the engagement, Thought Leader Select’s in-house research team will identify and profile dozens of leading Canadian medical experts in pathology, with a focus on KOLs who have experience in developing companion diagnostics for cancer treatments. The company will also assess the top Canadian medical centers of excellence in pathology, delivering engagement plans that will drive interactions among the biopharma client company and its partners in medicine.

The client company, as it develops companion diagnostics for cancer medications, seeks understanding of the provincial reimbursement process and market access climate for such products, as well as learning the degrees to which medical centers of excellence optimize cancer treatment through the use of companion diagnostics.

Thought Leader Select’s work will combine the company’s objective, validated assessment methodology applied to the skills and experience of key opinion leaders in medicine with a series ... read more »


Global Pharmas Choose Thought Leader Select as Vendor of Choice for KOL Initiatives

June 25, 2013 · Leave a comment

(CHAPEL HILL, NC) Canadian subsidiaries of a pair of top-15 global biopharmaceutical companies have appointed Thought Leader Select as their preferred research and engagement advisor for key opinion leader initiatives in multiple therapeutic areas.

Thought Leader Select, headquartered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, provides research and advisory services to companies in the life sciences industry, including pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and diagnostics companies, as they reach out to and collaborate with leading medical experts to advance treatment options and promote better health worldwide.

Each company has approved Thought Leader Select as its preferred vendor for a variety of projects and retained advisory services centering on the work of key opinion leaders and centers of excellence in medicine.  Key opinion leaders, also known as thought leaders and key external experts, lead the medical field with their research, clinical practice, publishing in scientific journals, patient advocacy, treatment guidelines, and more. Centers of excellence include the high-impact teaching hospitals, medical schools, specialty clinics, and research foundations known for breakthrough research and cutting-edge clinical practice.

For the coming set of engagements, Thought Leader Select will profile the skills and experience of key opinion leaders in cardiology, gastroenterology, and genetics, as the projects center around treatments for heart failure, opioid-induced constipation, and a collection of rare and orphan diseases.   Known for the versatility of applications for its ... read more »


Corporate Responsibility at Thought Leader Select

May 2, 2012 · Leave a comment

By Brian Castle and Kristen Smithwick

At Thought Leader Select, we have the privilege of working with a group of people who are always mindful of our company’s place in the big world of healthcare. We view our mission as a simple one, and that is to go about our work in ways that will always ultimately promote better patient care and public health outcomes.

We collaborate, through a strategic approach, with a variety of partner companies in the healthcare space—companies developing and commercializing pharmaceuticals, biotech treatments, medical devices, and diagnostics—as well as thousands of thought leaders, key advisors, and medical centers of excellence across more than 18 therapeutic areas covering over 50 diseases and conditions that affect millions of people around the world.

This week, we are proud to launch a new expression of our company’s mission and what we see as our responsibility to our partners across healthcare and the patients we all serve. We are proud of our team’s heritage in multiple areas of healthcare—our people have led industry teams working in brand and product commercialization, predictive medicine, and strategic planning, and they have also performed critical research work and delivered clinical care to patients alongside leading physicians in many of the top medical centers on multiple continents.

On our new Our Mission and Responsibility page, you’ll see a ... read more »


Thought Leader Select Announces New Assessments of Key Opinion Leaders, Centers of Excellence in Women’s Health, Oncology

October 28, 2011 · Leave a comment

Company News

Thought Leader Select is pleased to announce a pair of projects in support of a top 10 global biopharmaceutical company as it seeks to develop a portfolio of medicines in women’s health.

For the assessments, Thought Leader Select will study key opinion leaders and medical centers of excellence in the treatment of cancers affecting the gynecological health of women, specifically ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, and uterine cancer. In the first assessment, the company will identify and profile Canadian oncologists with vast expertise in research and treatment of these cancers affecting women.  In the second assessment, Thought Leader Select will identify and profile Canadian medical centers with specialized infrastructures for research and treatment in these disease areas.

“We are very proud to begin this critical work supporting pharmaceutical development in the area of women’s health,” stated Neil Mellor, Thought Leader Select’s global business development consultant.  “This client is an established leader in developing medicines for the treatment of various forms of cancer, and we appreciate the opportunity to help them partner with the right key opinion leaders and centers of excellence in women’s health and oncology, to ultimately help patients suffering from these cancers.”


Clinical Trials—The New Way Forward

July 14, 2011 · Leave a comment

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M. Sc, MPH

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal announced that Pfizer is conducting a clinical trial in which patients are able to use their computers and smartphones to enter information about the study, rather then spend time visiting a clinic. It was only a matter of time before clinical trials entered the social media era!

Actually, this approach makes a lot of sense, not just for the investigator, but especially for the patient. The patient is recruited over the Internet, enrolls electronically, receives laboratory tests in the mail along with test drugs, and tracks responses through an application on his or her computer or smartphone. Having participated in a clinical study before where I had to repeatedly return to the clinic, keep a paper log of reactions, bring in my responses to the study site, and answer weekly phone calls from the study nurse, I can say wholeheartedly that it was a big inconvenience. And all of that grief for the incredible reimbursement of $60!

We live in an age of instant and ubiquitous communication. I am never very far or long away from a business-related e-mail, even when I am on vacation. In fact, this instant communication has really changed the face of vacations for most people, but that is another subject ... read more »


Clinical Trial Ethics

July 7, 2011 · 2 comments

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M. Sc, MPH

According to an article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Dr Joseph Ross claimed a study conducted by Parke-Davis, before it was acquired by Pfizer, using gabapentin (Neurontin), as the drug under investigation, appeared to be a “seeding” trial. And while the author states that seeding trials are not illegal, he states that they are unethical. There are really two separate issues at stake here:  first, what is really an unethical trial, and second, what is really a “seeding” trial?

About 25 years ago, when a pharmaceutical company launched a new drug and wanted to get as many physicians as possible to have some experience in using this drug for appropriate patients, they would provide samples packaged in a box to resemble supplies you might receive if you were a clinical investigator. There would be cards to report on one’s experience with the new drug, such as efficacy and side effects. But these sample cards were rarely collected and reported back to the head office. The goal was really to have physicians become familiar with this new drug, and for their own information record some information. These were not formal clinical trials, not required by the regulatory authorities, and did not need the scrutiny of an Institutional Review Board. These ersatz trials became ... read more »


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 ( 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 »


The Future Integration of Long-Term Care by the Screenagers

July 6, 2010 · Leave a comment

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M. Sc, MPH

One word that optimally summarizes long-term care in the United States is fragmentation. Like a microcosm of the overall fragmented healthcare system in the U.S., long-term care suffers from similarly fragmented clinical care, living care, and financing. As the population ages and Baby Boomers retire and take on a host of chronic illnesses, the problems of long-term care need to be solved fairly quickly. And who better to fix the long-term care fragmentation than the “screenagers?” What’s a screenager? Read on.

While the Baby Boomers did not create a fragmented healthcare delivery system, they certainly contributed to its broader and deeper fragmentation. They are a generation that demands instant gratification, has high expectations, and suffers from an entitlement mentality. As children of the Depression generation, they were given everything their parents were denied growing up; thus, they began to expect more. Baby Boomers will not tolerate growing old and not having the best of everything–which, for this discussion, includes long-term care. While the Baby Boomers are too impatient to wait for the fragmentation of the long-term care system to integrate itself, they are certainly too busy to do it themselves.

So, who will come to their rescue? Appropriately, the saviors of the Baby Boomers are the generations that follow them– Generations X and Y–or, as ... read more »


Power to the Patients: Takeaways from the "New Health Report"

June 24, 2010 · Leave a comment

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M. Sc, MPH

A recent report suggested that patients can have a significant influence on the success or failure of new drugs. The “New Health Report,” conducted by Richard Day Research and published by Quintiles, a large multinational contract research organization (CRO) to the pharmaceutical industry, surveyed executives from biopharmaceutical companies and from healthcare companies, as well as a number of patients. They found that patients are gradually moving into a position of influence over the success of a new medicine, a position long held by the medical community.

There is an old saying in the art of negotiating– “whoever believes he has the power, has the power.” This interesting paradox can be seen in government. The politicians believe they have the power, and so they wield it readily to control the people; whereas the people do not believe they have the power, and are thus subjugated to the will of the government. In reality, it is the opposite. The government derives its power from the people, and the people of the land have the real power. But in most cases, the government believes it has the power, as so it does.

In medicine, physicians have always held a position of power over the interventions of diseases. They make life and death decisions armed with a wealth of ... read more »


Social Media Offers Pharma, Physicians Opportunities for Better Interaction with Consumers

May 13, 2010 · Leave a comment

In a recent Marketing: Health blog post at MediaPost, Kathy Thorbahn of Razorfish Health, a marketing/advertising/public relations firm focused on health care industries, makes a strong case for the pharmaceutical industry to fully embrace social media in its efforts to give balanced information for consumers to make good health decisions.

While several companies are experimenting with self-created communities built around different products, brands, diseases and conditions, as well as starting Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, and YouTube channels for company news the promotion of certain products (see Digital Dose of Pharma for a list of pharma’s early adopters in social media), Thorbahn makes the point that the industry is missing out on the real essence of social media—“. . . ultimately social media is not about advertising, and it’s not about marketing. It’s about sharing the insight, information and tools that can help people make better decisions.”

In the not-too-distant future, we may see companies like Thought Leader Select and others, in their ongoing efforts to promote positive relationships among pharmaceutical companies, physicians, and patients, utilizing social media communities to bring these three groups together to share product information (pharma), treatment advice (doctors), and feedback about the effectiveness of drug therapies (patients). This level of communication and transparency, aimed at promoting the public health by drilling down to one-to-one interaction ... read more »


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