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Facilitating Networking and Information Sharing amongst Pharmaceutical and MedComms, Medical Communications, Medical Education and Medical Publishing Specialists

This global initiative facilitates networking and dialogue amongst individuals working in and around the pharmaceutical industry and MedComms, focusing on specialist medical education, medical communications and medical publishing activities.
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    Every Tuesday we send out the MedComms Networking email newsletter to subscribers. It includes brief commentary on what we're doing and planning, and highlights relevant news to encourage sharing of information, experiences and ideas and to stimulate discussion. The text and links included below, by definition, were accurate on the day of publication, but may then become outdated.

    MedComms Networking - 11 February 2020


    First, thanks to Ben Church (Oxford PharmaGenesis), Alice Fantom (Envision Pharma Group) and Charlotte Lupton (Helios Medical Communications) for joining me on last week's webinar and talking about their personal journeys into account management in MedComms, providing useful advice for anyone starting out. Watch the video here.

    We've something of a learning and development theme throughout this current series of webinars. Tomorrow, Rob Harris (Global Talent Lead) and Phil Matthews (Portfolio Director and Team Lead), both of Envision Pharma Group, will talk to us about their Envisionary Leadership programme. Next week Sally Stringer and Edward Rochford, both of HealthCare 21 Communications (part of the Lucid Group), Sarah Fogg, an independent learning and development consultant, and Stephanie Wasek, a freelance medical writing specialist will talk about Training and Nurturing Expertise in Medical Writing.

    And there's more. Details are always bang up-to-date at

    Importantly, I've now filled all the dates for the current series, with Wave Healthcare Communications joining us on 4 March.

    So, now I need to book the next series of 10, which runs 6 May to 8 July. Ideas welcomed.

    Meanwhile I'll dedicate my remaining words, today, to the MedComms freelancers. All of them, but particularly those in the UK who may be wondering what, if anything, will happen after the UK Government's Budget Statement, next month. Assuming no surprises, the expected IR35 tax changes must surely impact our industry from 6 April, and may impact some individuals and companies quite severely. MedComms has, after all, become quite reliant on a flexible freelance community.

    Yet there's very little public discussion.

    Kudos to the healthcare communications team at The Difference Collective whose Blog yesterday, IR35 and the changing freelance landscape, summarised some important points for everyone.

    We're only a few weeks away and yet many freelancers report a lack of guidance from their clients, whilst getting confusing messages from the media about what might happen.

    Some are getting quite nervous.

    Two news items from HMRC last week provided important clarifications.

  • Updated basic principles: reasonable care "The client must take reasonable care when determining whether the worker would have been an employee if they were engaged directly."

  • HMRC announces change to the off-payroll working rules. The rules will only apply to payments made for services that are delivered on or after 6 April.

  • Earlier this week, I ran an online video meeting with the New Zealand Medical Writers Group (great fun, by the way). Will the IR35 changes open up opportunity for freelancers based outside the UK? Confusion abounds.

    On 24 March I'll run a workshop for the freelance subscribers to the MedComms Workbook. We'd love to be joined by any client types who'd come and talk about their new policies.

    To get a flavour of the complexities involved, watch yesterday's Lords Select Committee session. Have a strong drink close by!

    Remember, details of all our activities are kept bang up-to-date at or give me a shout at any time if you've any questions, comments or suggestions.


    Peter Llewellyn
    Managing Director, NetworkPharma Ltd
    Follow me on Twitter @NetworkPharma
    Join 4,000 international colleagues in the MedComms Networking Linkedin Group
    The information at is always bang up-to-date!


    Subscribe to the weekly MedComms Networking email newsletter here - it's entirely free of charge!

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