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 »


International Pharma Chooses Thought Leader Select for Women’s Health Initiative with Key Opinion Leaders, Centers of Excellence

November 6, 2012 · Leave a comment

November 6, 2012 (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 Canada focused on key opinion leaders and medical centers of excellence in women’s health with an international biopharmaceutical company.

The company, part of a select group of global leaders in drug development for products aimed at improving the health of women, approached Thought Leader Select for support in a variety of collaborative efforts with leading physicians and other health care professionals at leading universities, medical schools, teaching hospitals, and specialty clinics.  The key opinion leaders represent medical experts within the Canadian obstetrics and gynecology community, with areas of sub-specialty including fertility and the treatment of uterine tumors.

Known for the versatility of applications for its in-house research and analysis, Thought Leader Select’s research group will analyze the skills and experience of specialists in multiple areas where they collaborate with leading physicians and other health care professionals, including registered nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical pharmacists, and medical researchers, to advance the science of medicine and patient care in women’s health, 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 collaborative ... 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 »


Paul Meade Accepts Invitation to Speak at AACE Annual Meeting

March 31, 2011 · 1 comment

March 31, 2011 (CHAPEL HILL, NC)—Paul Meade, the president and founder of Thought Leader Select, a Research Triangle, NC company focused on facilitating medical expert collaborations with the biopharmaceutical and other healthcare industries, has accepted an invitation to speak at the annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE).

The 20th Annual Meeting and Clinical Congress of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists will take place from April 13-17 in San Diego, CA.  At the invitation of AACE President-Elect Dr. Yehuda Handelsman, Meade will speak during the annual Corporate AACE Partner (CAP) meeting, an opportunity for physicians and representatives from partnering companies, including biopharmaceutical and medical device firms, to learn about emerging topics in inter-industry collaborations in medicine.  

Meade’s speech, “Interactions in the Age of Transparency,” will outline a new path forward for even better industry collaborations with medical experts based on a foundation of ethics and transparency.  “I am honored to accept the invitation from Dr. Handelsman and the AACE,” stated Meade. “I have built my career on the basis of an unwavering commitment to ethics and transparency.  We have to remember that we’re all in this together—health care providers, researchers, and people from industry—to promote better health for everyone in this country.  If we always keep patients’ best interest in mind and work together is an open ... read more »


Transparency and the Sunshine Provision – Is This a Good or Bad Thing?

March 17, 2011 · Leave a comment

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

The Physician Payment Sunshine Provision is a part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed by the U. S. Congress in March of last year. The provision will go into effect on January 1, 2012. Many people in the healthcare industry are struggling to determine if this provision is a good thing or a bad one. Truth be told, it is a bit of both—good, in that it ensures complete transparency among health care providers and manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and bad, because it may expose the benefits some healthcare professionals gain from interacting with some manufacturers.

For years, healthcare professionals have been interacting with manufacturers in many ways; when providers offer their professional services, they expect and receive compensation for their time and knowledge, as would experts in any other industry. Every industry has its experts, and healthcare is no exception. There are healthcare experts in a variety of functional areas and in all therapeutic areas. These experts have medical information and knowledge that is valuable to healthcare manufacturers as they develop and commercialize their products and services. Acting as consultants to industry manufacturers, experts offer guidance in the development of new products, from determining unmet medical needs to suggestions on how to price new products.

Is it fair to compensate ... read more »


How Will Healthcare Reform Impact Your Next Investigator or Advisory Board Meeting?

February 28, 2011 · Leave a comment

Regulatory Guidance from Aprel Buonpane

The main components of the new US healthcare reform legislation will continue to be subjects for debate in the coming months and years, but tucked in among all of the changes for Medicare beneficiaries, coverage for pre-existing conditions, and the effects on small business owners lies a provision that most laypeople would not even notice. This provision, however, has the attention of US drug and device manufacturers and cannot be ignored.

The Physician Payment Sunshine Provision, also known as the Sunshine Act, requires that these companies publicly report gifts and payments made to physicians and other entities such as teaching hospitals. The intention of the provision is to address the public’s perception that biopharmaceutical companies use payments to influence a physician’s prescription-writing habits and to improve transparency as to what actually does exchange hands, in the form of services and remuneration for those services, and why. Drug and device manufacturers must begin capturing this data in January 2012 and must make their first report on these activities to the Department of Health and Human Services by March 2013. This provision has far-reaching implications for how the medical meetings and event industry will conduct its business in service of the healthcare community for years to come.

The new law requires that every dollar spent on physicians and health care ... read more »


The Sunshine Act and Working with Thought Leaders

February 22, 2011 · Leave a comment

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M.Sc. MPH

With the Sunshine Act getting closer to implementation, every company that works with thought leaders is preparing for full disclosure and transparency in the way they work and compensate these physicians and other medical experts. So the big question at hand is this–just how many thought leaders should a healthcare manufacturer work with going forward? Some say just a few and others say many. What’s the right answer here?

If we take the argument that working with just a select few is better, one could surmise that it is best to cement a working relationship with a few key thought leaders rather than get to know a “cast of hundreds.” This way, companies may gain a better understanding of the respective key opinion leaders’ interests, preferences, beliefs, and skills. Companies can more effectively create a set of activities that most appropriately matches the skills and experiences of each physician and work with the strengths of each physician to bring new insights into new medical treatment options.

But the one factor working against the “less is more” option is the fact that many academic medical institutions are placing limits on how much remuneration a thought leader can accept from the industry in a given year. Whereas, not too long ago, managed care organizations were placing providers ... read more »


The Thought Leaders Driving Thought Leader Select–A Blog Series: Lisa Smith

November 2, 2010 · 1 comment

Lisa Smith helped to start Thought Leader Select in 2006 with Paul Meade and Kristen Smithwick. As Executive Vice President of Research and Development, Lisa ensures the company’s highest research standards. She has years of experience leading research and consulting projects for the biopharmaceutical, diagnostic and healthcare industries. Through her work, Lisa has helped scores of companies improve thought leader engagement strategies and strengthen medical affairs, commercial and clinical development functions.

The Thought Leader Select Blog sat down with Lisa, the bedrock of Thought Leader Select’s industry-leading research, to learn more about her role within the company, what drives her at work and the extracurricular passions that make her unique.

TLS Blog: Good morning, Lisa. Why did you help to found Thought Leader Select?

Lisa Smith: I was working at Clear Point Health with Paul Meade on a variety of interesting projects for biopharmaceutical clients. One client, in particular, needed our help to understand how to make advisory boards more effective. Paul and I interviewed executives in several pharmaceutical companies and key opinion leaders to identify best practices in developing, planning and executing effective advisory board meetings. This work sparked our interest in thought leader engagement. Following our work on advisory board best practices, Paul and I helped the same client better engage a group of KOLs by devising an organized system ... read more »


Throwing the Baby Out with the Bath Water: ACCME Bans Industry Scientists from CME

June 17, 2010 · Leave a comment

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M. Sc, MPH

A recent decision by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to not allow scientists employed by pharmaceutical, diagnostics, and devices companies to give educational presentations to physicians at medical meetings has “stirred up a bee’s nest.” In other words, if you graduated from an accredited university, conducted sound research within academia for several years, then joined a pharmaceutical company to carry on your research and were invited to a scientific congress to present your research findings to physicians, you are now being banned to do so because your work might be tainted and biased by your employer. Instead of addressing concerns of biased reporting or misrepresentation of the facts, the ACCME has decided to “throw the baby out with the bath water.”

I have known brilliant scientists who have spent their lifetimes conducting impeccable research within the halls of academia, only to be asked to come into the private sector to complete their research. Is the ACCME now saying those dedicated individuals have “sold their souls to the devil” and suddenly lost all integrity and objectivity? Have there never been researchers within academia that have falsified their data for personal gain and been exposed to the public? Should we ban all researchers in academic centers from presenting their research to physicians at ... read more »


Fast Facts from Thought Leader Select–Payer KOLs

June 10, 2010 · Leave a comment

Key opinion leaders (KOLs) are health care leaders who make a high-impact footprint while advancing medical science. Thought Leader Select specializes in delivering objective, validated data on the skills and experiences of KOLs, so that pharmaceutical companies can seek their appropriate advice and guidance in the development of new medicines.

Thought Leader Select measures many areas where KOLs leave their respective marks in the medical community, including conducting clinical research studies, publishing articles in leading journals, and presenting breakthrough knowledge at scientific conferences.

In a recent assessment of over 300 North American specialists in atrial fibrillation, Thought Leader Select measured the frequency of these global key opinion leaders’ respective participation in regulatory and reimbursement activities. Using keywords to link these KOLs with such activities covering a six-year period, Thought Leader Select found that only 50 of the 300 physicians had any significant, relevant experience related to regulatory and reimbursement issues, such as participation on Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committees, FDA Advisory Boards, etc.

While the overall pool of 300 medical experts in atrial fibrillation showed significant diversity in skills and experience in a variety of areas, there are only a small number of these experts that have any experience in regulatory and reimbursement issues. Pharmaceutical companies wishing to seek consultative advice from these highly specialized thought leaders need to find effective ways to differentiate ... read more »


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