January 12, 2012 ·
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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 »
December 23, 2010 ·
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Press Release Out Today from the Offices of Thought Leader Select
December 23, 2010 (CHAPEL HILL, NC)—Dr. Maher “Max” Noureddine, a noted Parkinson’s disease researcher and chief scientific officer at North Carolina-based research firm Thought Leader Select, is leaving the company to launch the Institute for Advanced Career Development (IACD) on January 3, 2011.
The institute will offer an array of programs for medical professionals seeking to advance their academic careers in their respective medical fields. Programs on offer will include a physician-centric curriculum called MedMentors, courses for nurses called RNMentors, and courses for pharmacists and veterinarians called PharMentors and VetMentors, respectively.
In addition to the programs centered on leadership in allied health professions, Dr. Noureddine will lead development courses for legal professionals interested in understanding the science of DNA-based evidence. Dr. Noureddine is trained in human molecular genetics with years of laboratory research experience at top institutions such as UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke Medical Center, and The National Institutes of Health.
“I am excited to take all of my scientific training and combine it with my experience in working directly with leading academic medical specialists from across the globe,” stated Noureddine. “While I am sad to be leaving Thought Leader Select, I am doing so with the company’s complete endorsement—they really believe in what I’m doing to advance scientific careers for better healthcare delivery. ... read more »
December 10, 2010 ·
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Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M.Sc, MPH
For decades, the pharmaceutical industry has had a good working relationship with the medical profession. Of course, pharmaceutical companies have always been dependent on physicians writing prescriptions for their products, and for pharmacists filling these prescriptions, so ultimately the patients could return to health. This has been a true symbiotic relationship where pharmaceutical companies needed doctors to prescribe their drugs, and physicians had effective medicines to offer their patients.
Occasionally, there were a few bad apples on both sides of the equation that overstepped the boundaries of this relationship, but for the most part, it worked well. So what happened? Why the Sunshine Act? And why the apparent “witch-hunt” to expose every Thought Leader that engages with someone from a pharmaceutical company? Is it time for a course correction? Don’t we have bigger problems to deal with in the financial and economic arenas than to worry about how much money a Thought Leader made from conducting clinical studies or speaking at a conference on behalf of a pharmaceutical company?
Where did it all go wrong? How do we fix it? And what does the future hold for this pharma-medical relationship? Healthcare costs have been steadily rising in most countries across the globe. And while there have been increases in these costs, almost no other country has ... read more »
November 4, 2010 ·
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Neil Mellor, business development consultant at Thought Leader Select, and Paul Meade, the company’s president and founder, attended SMi’s KOL: Knowledge Leader Partnerships conference on September 29 and 30 in London. Neil sat down with the Thought Leader Select Blog to discuss his takeaways from the conference.
TLS Blog: Neil, how was the conference in London?
Neil Mellor: I found it quite interesting, and so did Paul—since we’ve grown the company over the last five years to include multiple European and global thought leader assessments, we thought it made sense to get a real sense of the industry’s thinking about what we do on the European continent.
TLS Blog: What were some of the main points of discussion?
Neil Mellor: Right now, there’s a pretty hot debate going on about the roles that health care professionals play in the development and launch of new medicines. This conference even included a robust discussion on what to call them—it seems the European marketplace is evolving away from the term “key opinion leader,” with companies choosing instead to rely on what they call “external experts,” “opinion leaders,” or “thought leaders.” It made us feel even better about the name of our company, that’s for sure!
TLS Blog: Would you say that there’s a migration going on in the perception of the HCPs ... read more »
May 11, 2010 ·
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May 11, 2010 (CHAPEL HILL, NC) Paul Meade, founder and president of Thought Leader Select, a North Carolina firm dedicated to key opinion leader (KOL) development solutions for the biopharmaceutical industry, received a master of public health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on May 8, 2010.
The Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC awarded Meade, a 25-year veteran of the pharmaceutical industry, with a master of public health degree and a certificate in public health ethics in the Public Health Leadership Program. Meade’s research report, “How Volunteer Community Organizations Can Assist State Public Health Departments During Pandemic Influenza,” explored specific possibilities for the Civil Air Patrol, a volunteer non-profit national organization and an auxiliary of the United States Air Force, to assist state public health officials during widespread outbreaks of influenza.
The master of public health degree is Meade’s second master’s degree. He earned a master of science in biomedical science from the University of Guelph (Canada) in 1977, following his bachelor of science degree in biology and chemistry from Acadia University (Canada) in 1971.
During his 25-year career in the pharmaceutical industry, Meade served in a variety of leadership positions at Merck and GlaxoSmithKline. During his ten years at Merck, Meade worked his way from a sales representative position to director of marketing planning for ... read more »
May 4, 2010 ·
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New press release out today from the offices of Thought Leader Select.
5/4/2010 (CHAPEL HILL, NC) Thought Leader Select, a North Carolina-based firm dedicated to delivering superior key opinion leader (KOL) management solutions to the biopharmaceutical industry, announces the completion of large speaker validation project for a top-20 US pharmaceutical company.
The pharmaceutical client contracted Thought Leader Select to validate the skills and experiences of a legion of health care professionals for the company’s speakers bureau. The firm asked Thought Leader Select to look at over 1,000 specialists, primary care physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other important health care providers across several key dimensions, including: experience speaking within the medical community, clinical research involvement, publishing history, developing treatment guidelines, and active patient care.
Thought Leader Select’s validation process empowered the client with the knowledge that they were engaging experienced speakers with demonstrated experience in clinical practice, research, and speaking. The study’s findings also enabled the client company to determine fair market value (FMV) honoraria compensation for these health care providers.
“I thought it was only natural to ask Thought Leader Select to do this validation work for us,” stated the brand director for the client company. “They get so close to the data and have a real understanding of who these key opinion leaders are and why they are so important. Their methodology is so ... read more »