Now more than ever, pharmaceutical companies’ relationships with physician thought leaders, also known as key opinion leaders (KOLs), are under intense scrutiny. Industry ethicists and watchdogs alike have speculated on the objectivity of medical education presentations and other aspects of KOL involvement during the marketing of new drug therapies.
However, the truth is that physician thought leaders need pharmaceutical companies as much as pharmas need KOLs, and it’s possible for both doctors and drug companies to create symbiotic relationships that have patients’ best interests at heart. When pharmaceutical companies seek to understand the skills and experiences of thought leaders objectively and methodically, they are able to subsequently engage them in ways that are meaningful for the KOL, the pharmaceutical company and the patient.
In this Thought Leader Select blog series by Kristen Smithwick, we’ll examine key, mutually-beneficial collaborations between thought leaders and pharmaceutical concerns, and we’ll see how those interactions spearhead scientific innovation and better patient care.
About the author: Kristen Smithwick is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Thought Leader Select. Throughout her twelve-year career, Kristen has led teams specializing in key opinion leader research, strategic marketing, and brand-building. Kristen has consulted with many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies to implement KOL engagement strategies at every stage of the drug development process.