With heightened scrutiny on the objectivity of Continuing Medical Education meetings in recent years, pharmaceutical companies have placed more emphasis on understanding skills and experiences of physician Thought Leaders who may serve as CME faculty. In addition to publishing grant databases which outline monies paid to speakers, CME faculty and other advisors, leading companies are paying more attention to the methods they use to select potential speakers and faculty – basing invitations on physicians’ demonstrated experiences within a therapeutic area or disease state, and not just the physician’s comfort or familiarity with a company’s products.
Thought Leader Select, a North Carolina firm delivering critical key opinion leader engagement solutions to the pharma and biotech industries, has advised industry leaders on high-impact KOL deployment plans for more than 4800 thought leaders around the world. “Objective KOL profiles power our recommendations for CME and other aspects of thought leader engagement, ensuring that companies maintain compliance with CME activities and prove their relevance and necessity for medical professionals,” according to Lisa Smith, Executive Vice President of Research at Thought Leader Select.
Top objective qualities used to select CME faculty members include:
- Demonstrable experience treating patients in the disease state – Preferably, a physician would serve a diverse patient population exhibiting a variety of complications within a specific disease state.
- Comfort with and a proven track record of public speaking and/or teaching
- Relevant clinical trial experience, preferably investigating a variety of treatments within the disease state
- Publishing history
- Relationships with peers, as defined by assessing the professional impact within their peer networks through collaborative work in research, publishing, clinical trials, and treatment guidelines.