Canadian Business Association of NC Adds Meade, Sinn, Grzes, Byerley, Carska-Sheppard to Board

June 27, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Canadian Business Association of North Carolina (CBA-NC) is pleased to announce the addition of five Triangle-area business leaders, Paul Meade, Geoffrey Sinn, Henry Grzes, David Byerley, and Andrea Carska-Sheppard to its board of directors.

CBA-NC is an exchange where leaders meet to share knowledge, connect, network, and build awareness of the significance of the US-Canadian relationship. The association sponsors a distinguished speaker series, focused on cross-border issues and policies of current concern. The organization’s most recent event featured former Quintiles chief Sandy Costa, speaking at the Research Triangle Park manufacturing facility of Medicago, a Quebec-headquartered company manufacturing vaccines from tobacco plants.

The organization holds multiple events throughout the course of the year around the state of North Carolina, providing great opportunities for participants to create new personal and professional relationships while continuing to strengthen business ties with their shared home country of Canada. Many of the executives who participate in CBA-NC events represent firms who continue to do business on both sides of the border.

Another of the organization’s stated goals is to assist in facilitating the successful transition of new companies and individuals arriving from Canada to pursue business in North Carolina, as well as helping North Carolinians meet business objectives in Canada.

The Canadian Business Association of North Carolina’s ... read more »


Thought Leader Select Sponsors Sandy Costa CBANC Event

May 21, 2013 · Leave a comment

Thought Leader Select is pleased to announce its sponsorship of the upcoming Canadian Business Association event featuring former Quintiles chief Sandy Costa.

Founded in 2009 by a group of Canadian business leaders based in the state’s Research Triangle region, the Canadian Business Association of North Carolina (CBANC) is an exchange where business leaders meet to share knowledge, connect, network, and build awareness of the significance of the US-Canadian relationship. CBANC produces a number of events featuring prominent Canadians, including executives and politicians.

The latest event, slated for June 5 at 5:30 pm at the RTP campus of Medicago USA, features Santo J. “Sandy” Costa, a former executive at Glaxo, Inc. (now GlaxoSmithKline) and Quintiles Transnational Corp in the Triangle.  An acclaimed author, speaker, and attorney, Mr. Costa’s business experience includes over 40 years in various executive roles in the pharmaceutical, health care, and life sciences industries, as well as time spent as a practicing attorney.

Mr. Costa currently serves as Of Counsel to the law firm Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan of Raleigh.  In addition to his ongoing professional work as an attorney, Mr. Costa serves on several boards of directors for publicly-traded and privately-held companies.

Mr. Costa continues to impact the Triangle area on a number of fronts, serving as an adjunct professor in the clinical research program at ... read more »


Thoughts on the MSL Society’s Inaugural Conference

April 17, 2013 · Leave a comment

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M.Sc, MPH

Allison Murphy and I had the pleasure of participating in the MSL Society’s inaugural global conference and gala in Philadelphia earlier this month.  At Thought Leader Select, we always enjoy the opportunity to meet some of our great colleagues in medical affairs in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and device industries, but this event proved to be really special.

Since joining our company last year, Allison has continued to make a real impact in the medical affairs community.  After serving much of the last decade in Eli Lilly’s medical affairs division in support of the company’s endocrinology portfolio, Allison has brought a wealth of medical affairs expertise to Thought Leader Select. This expertise has continued to evolve, even as a consultant, through her membership and advisory board participation with the MSL Society, a dynamic group that we are proud to support as a company.

Dr. Samuel Dyer, the founder and head of the MSL Society, approached us a few months ago, asking for help with the burgeoning organization’s first global event.  As a veteran of the industry myself, I have participated in many events through the years, as a participant, speaker, and sponsor. I must admit that I was more than a little skeptical about another conference/event series emerging in a space with ... read more »


Langan Joins Thought Leader Select Research Group

February 26, 2013 · Leave a comment

For Immediate Release

February 21, 2013 (CHAPEL HILL, NC) Thought Leader Select, a North Carolina-based key opinion leader strategy company, announces the hiring of Heather Langan as research director.

In her new role at the company, Langan will lead profiling and engagement planning related to the skills and experience of both leading physicians and other health care professionals, as well as medical centers of excellence that advance the medical science.  Life sciences companies use this research and advice for better strategic decision-making for collaborations with medical experts, as industry works with these experts to bring new treatments to market for better patient care and better public health outcomes.

Langan arrives at Thought Leader Select after a decorated career in human services, working and leading teams in developmental disabilities, family therapy, and mental health.  In her most recent role at Duke University’s National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, Langan led quality assurance and continuous improvement at the premier center of excellence in the area of child trauma, influencing the treatment decisions in evidence-based clinics around the country.

Heather Langan holds two bachelor’s degrees, in philosophy and psychology, from the University of Utah.  After graduation, Langan also earned a pair of master’s degrees in psychology and counseling, from Stephen F. Austin University and North ... read more »


Not Enough Doctors?

August 22, 2012 · Leave a comment

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M.Sc, MPH

Recently, I read a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece titled “Why the Doctor Can’t See You” by John Goodman, President of the National Center for Policy Analysis.  The central point of Goodman’s piece suggests that under the Affordable Care Act the “demand for healthcare will increase dramatically,” and there simply won’t be enough physicians in the United States to provide all this care.


While the United States does rank 53rd out of 145 countries in physicians per capita, with 2.4 medical doctors for every 1000 people, our country ranks higher than Japan at 2.1 MDs/1000, Canada at 2.0, China at 1.4, and India at 0.6 (according to a World Health Organization report). The global average is 1.4 doctors per 1000 people. The highest doctors-per-capita healthcare systems are those in Cuba (6.7/1000) and Greece (6.2/1000).

What does all of this mean? Does this mean that Cuba and Greece have a much healthier population than the U.S.? Canada has a universal healthcare system, offering healthcare to everyone, at a per-capita rate of 2.0 doctors. Can Canada provide its citizens with adequate healthcare delivery? It can, and it does. Can Japan handle healthcare demand for its people with only 2.1 MDs per 1,000, especially given its aging population? I dare say that it can, and it will.

So, if ... read more »


The Affordable Care Act: What’s the Right Thing to Do?

July 3, 2012 · Leave a comment

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M. Sc, MPH

The United States Supreme Court finally rendered its ruling on 2010’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), finding that its so-called mandate was indeed constitutional, inasmuch as the government is free to place a tax on U. S. citizens. While many thought that resting on the power of the federal government to control interstate commerce was the legal approach to move this law forward, the justices deemed that while the mandate was not a valid use of this power, the government can impose any tax it deems appropriate.

Unfortunately, all of this amounts to jockeying by our duly-elected officials in Washington, as they play election-year political football with subject matter that is of critical importance to the citizens of this country. The nine justices are even getting into the election game by suggesting that the government’s insistence upon everyone being covered by some form of health insurance can be implemented by imposing a tax on those that refuse to abide by the law. This ruling, especially in the manner that Chief Justice John Roberts articulated his concurrence with the majority opinion, easily permits the Act to be used as a target in the coming election by having either party debate the issue of a tax. Almost everyone is missing the point of this and other reforms ... read more »


Predictions for Healthcare in 2012

February 21, 2012 · Leave a comment

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

While the Mayans might have been good at developing a cosmic calendar with 27,000-year cycles, I will try to venture only one or two years out and predict some developments within the healthcare system.

I dare say the Mayans had great foresight about changes, even if they never invented the wheel, but clearly they missed the fact that 2012 was an election year in the United States, and that predicting change became no mean task with orders of magnitude of difficulty. Nonetheless, I will attempt to gaze into my crystal ball and give my predictions for the next little while.

The promise of personalized medicine has been swirling around in the minds of brilliant people for well over a decade now, but we are patiently awaiting the results to impact our daily lives. Throughout the past 10-15 years, advances in the personalized medicine field have been somewhat slow to appear on the landscape. We should not be too discouraged by this advancing timeline, since we are still waiting for a cure for cancer after many decades of highly-funded research. Yet, each day, scientists are discovering more and more biomarkers with the potential to move us closer the reality of personalized medicine.

These biomarkers are not only predicting diseases—they are identifying companion diagnostics, indicating response levels to ... read more »


Thought Leader Select Announces Key Opinion Leader Assessments in Chronic Pain, Colorectal Surgery, and Gastroenterology

February 2, 2012 · Leave a comment

New Press Release from the Offices of Thought Leader Select

February 2, 2012 (Chapel Hill, NC) Thought Leader Select is pleased to announce a pair of key opinion leader (KOL) identification and profiling projects to support the development pipeline of a leading pharmaceutical client focused in the therapeutic area of gastroenterology.

In the first research assessment, Thought Leader Select will identify and profile leading medical experts in the treatment of patients suffering from non-cancer-related chronic pain.  The company will identify the leading pain experts throughout the United States by examining the skills and experiences of physicians in multiple disciplines and specialties, including gastroenterologists, primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.

For the second research assessment, Thought Leader Select will identify and profile 100 key opinion leaders in colorectal surgery, as well as 125 KOLs in gastroenterology. The cumulative group of 225 physician thought leaders will share vast experience in research and treatment of fecal incontinence.

Thought Leader Select will use its validated, objective deep profiling methodology to assess the skills and experience of the thought leaders chronic pain, colorectal surgery, and gastroenterology in multiple research categories, including their areas of expertise, medical/scientific journal publishing history, and participation in basic and clinical research.  The company’s research group is comprised of subject-matter experts in medicine, with decades of experience working in ... read more »


The Sunshine Act: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

October 14, 2011 · Leave a comment

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M. Sc, MPH

The Sunshine Act is on the horizon, and all we know for certain is that things will be different. Will the changes be good, bad, or ugly for healthcare and the biopharmaceutical industry? Well, a bit of all three. But it is a bit like the Y2K scare, or the coming of the end of the world in December 2012 predicted by the Mayans—people in healthcare and biopharma are on alert, and no one really knows for certain how this will all play out.

Let’s start with the good, since there will be greater transparency in the interactions between manufacturers and physicians. The intended outcomes will be greater standards of remuneration for services rendered by healthcare professionals to various manufacturers, some defined threshold limit of activities (type and quantity) deemed permissible by institutions for their affiliated physicians, and a greater sense of awareness of the interactions between healthcare professionals and manufacturers, presumably by a concerned public.

With regard to the first outcome, it is hoped that some kind of industry standard for Fair Market Value will be established for the activities physicians are often engaged in when dealing with manufacturers. It will likely serve to “level the playing field,” so some manufacturers will not pay excessively for a given activity, such as consultative services. As ... 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 »


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