Our take on the issues relevant to the world of medical communications
Scientific Platform Takes Center Stage at CBI Publication Planning Meeting
by Jeffrey Stumpf
The paramount importance of scientific platforms in the development of medical communications will be discussed in a key presentation given at the Center for Business Intelligence (CBI) 9th Annual Forum on Strategic Publication Planning, which will be held during December 9-10, 2013, in Philadelphia. This talk will present the case that a scientific platform is the first priority for meeting a therapeutic compound’s communication objectives.
Scientific platforms provide the communication scaffolding that supports the overall value proposition of most therapeutic compounds in development. Common themes such as the burden of disease and clinical need are described in high-level statements and supported by clinical and preclinical data. Most importantly, the scientific platform prioritizes the wealth of information about a compound to ensure that communications are consistent and clinically relevant in addition to being scientifically accurate.
Although product development is influenced by many channels within a sponsoring company, Steve Palmisano, CMPP™, Vice President and Managing Director of MedThink SciCom, reminds us that scientific platforms must be grounded in good research, clear scientific statements, and the clinical program that lies ahead.
A platform for success
“The best time to establish a scientific platform is during late phase 2 clinical trials,” Palmisano noted in a 2007 article in Pharmaceutical Executive. At that point in a drug’s life cycle, medical communication agencies and the pharmaceutical company conduct a review of the clinical study data and background research to ask the following questions:
- What is the state of knowledge about the disease, companion diagnostics, and treatment targets?
- What is the clinical utility of current treatment or diagnostic options?
- How does this compound address a need that is not met by current options?
- What are potential gaps of knowledge related to the compound or current therapies?
The answers to these questions make up the story that the scientific platform tells, and the content is used for scientific education opportunities such as symposia, dinner meetings, grand rounds, and medical science liaison presentations.
“The medical communication company’s role is critical as a third party in the development of the scientific platform and the educational content flowing from it,” Palmisano explained.
The results are in…
A 2010 survey presented at the 7th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals showed that scientific platforms are being widely used across disease states and therapeutic options. Coauthored by Todd Parker, PhD, CMPP™, Managing Director, Scientific Services, MedThink SciCom, the presentation showed that 89% of surveyed pharmaceutical companies initiate a scientific platform. Furthermore, 66% of respondents reported that their company develops a scientific platform for the majority of their approved compounds (Figure 1).
The results also demonstrated the importance of scientific platforms during compound development. Most respondents (55%) selected the scientific platform as their first priority over other communication plans (eg, marketing research plan, commercial brand plan, publication plan; Figure 2).
Although the numbers are impressive, Parker thinks that pharmaceutical companies should place scientific platforms as an even greater priority. “There has been a significant increase in recognition of the importance of the scientific platform over the last few years, and most now recognize that it should serve as the foundation of all scientific communications,” Parker commented.
© 2013 MedThink SciCom, Inc. All rights reserved.