Medical communications agencies are sometimes also known as medical education agencies or MedComms agencies. The role of a medical communications agency is to inform physicians, health care providers, insurers and patients about the efficacy and safety of new pharmaceutical products that come onto the market; to help raise awareness of medicines via education and promotion.
This is typically accomplished in the form of peer reviewed manuscripts, review articles and monographs and via seminars and posters that are presented at scientific congresses. A medical communications agency would be contracted by the pharmaceutical company to write, design and produce these various publications. They may also get involved in the production of media materials and offer PR services to the client company.
Whatever the service offered by the agency, the objective is always the same - to educate and inform doctors, patients, nurses and hospital managers about innovations and new perspectives in healthcare.*
The field of medical communications has experienced huge growth in the past five years. This is because more biotechnology and speciality pharmaceutical companies are bringing new products to market. As the number of products continues to be approved, the need for medical communications personnel will also grow.
Working within a medical communications agency requires an academic medical background. Depending on the role, it may also be desired that applicants have a PhD or some post-doctoral experience. Two key roles that Atwood Tate currently deal with are:
Medical Writers - need to write high quality and informative copy for a range of medical and pharmaceutical products in a range of publication formats. In addition to writing the copy, medical writers will also be involved in the planning of the communications schedule and promotional strategy for a particular drug. You therefore have to keep abreast of developments in your field and this could also involve travel to conferences world-wide.
Medical Editors - Some medical communications agencies combine the roles of writing and editing the copy. Others split the roles. In these agencies the editorial role has a wider remit including proof-reading and print production as well as editing.
*Dr Annick Moon, A guide to getting started in Medical Communications, 2010« Back