2017 has been a great year for the Medical Communications industry with so much positive news about growth, expansion, new team members and new offices. We take a look at some of the biggest stories of the year, what’s happened in the sector this year and what it means for next year:
New healthcare comms ‘micro-network’ launched
At the beginning of the year, nearly a dozen healthcare communications agencies joined forces to form a new transatlantic ‘micro-network’ which aims to enrich the relationship between healthcare providers and patients.
Watershed Bridges, which is led by Bob Chandler, former inVentiv Health Communications president and co-founder of Chandler Chicco Companies, and the partnership involves 11 specialist agencies the US and the UK.
Chandler explained: “We believe our value – and uniqueness – in launching Watershed Bridges is being able to link together senior-level talent on a moment’s notice.
“Each entrepreneur-owner has decades of relevant experience and, in addition to embracing the practical advantages of this arrangement, each member has signed on philosophically to follow an agreed upon conduct of business and a rational sharing of client successes.”
The inaugural members hope that by pooling resources and expertise to offer clients a wider range of services with a more geographically diverse reach, they will together be able to achieve more than they could independently.
The UK’s Healthcare Communications Association unveiled a new initiative to improve mental health conditions for those working in up the upper levels of medical communications.
The not-for-profit organisation has teamed up with community group Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA) to deliver tailored training and awareness programmes for healthcare communication professionals.
Announced on World Mental Health day in October, the initiative is aimed at senior managers and open to all disciplines across the sector to raise awareness and build up a number of mental health ‘champions’.
Mike Dixon, the HCA’s CEO, said: “Many healthcare communication professionals will have worked on initiatives within mental health, but how often do we consider our own mental health or the mental health of those we work with?
“When more people are equipped with the tools they need to start a dialogue, more people can get the help and support they may need early, before it becomes a problem.”
Oxford PharmaGenesis named as one of the ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’
In May this year, Oxford PharmaGenesis consultancy was named as one of the ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ in a report published by the London Stock Exchange Group. The report honours the UK’s most dynamic and fastest-growing small and medium-sized enterprises and only companies that show a consistent revenue growth over a minimum of 3 years are included in the report.
Oxford PharmaGenesis is one of only nine companies in the healthcare and pharmaceuticals sector to be included in the list.
“The recognition of Oxford PharmaGenesis in the top 1000 list is a tremendous endorsement of our innovative HealthScience approach, and of the outstanding quality of our work and client service,” commented Dr Richard White, Commercial Director. “The fact that none of our competitors made the list shows that Oxford PharmaGenesis is truly a leading company in our sector.”
ICMJE announce new data sharing requirements for publication of clinical trial reports
The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) set out minimum requirements for publication of clinical trial reports in ICMJE member journals in June 2017.
As of 1 July 2018, manuscripts submitted to ICMJE journals reporting clinical trial data must contain a data sharing statement, indicating:
The statement may then be taken into account by ICMJE editors when considering the paper for publication. Furthermore, clinical trials that begin enrolling participants on or after 1 January 2019 must include a data sharing plan in the trial’s registration if they wish to publish results in ICMJE journals. Any deviations from this plan must be disclosed in the data sharing statement when published.
90TEN named Communiqué Consultancy of the Year 2017
This year, the Communiqué Awards celebrated their 20th anniversary of championing the highest standards in healthcare communications. 90TEN won the Consultancy of the year award they also picked up three wins for its PRIME – Making HIV History work. PRIME aimed to change behaviour in a population of gay men at high risk of becoming HIV positive.
90TEN tackled that by targeting those with a greater than 10% chance of becoming HIV positive in the next year, tailoring a lifestyle intervention for them that offered emotional and educational support through managed content.
The future is looking bright for another great year in Med Comms!