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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 The text and links included below, by definition, were accurate on the day of publication, but may then become outdated.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 - 15 October 2019


    I've spent all morning listening to discussions about proposed changes to IR35 tax rules (basically about whether someone is an employee or a contractor) expected in the UK next April. Expected - but it seems very likely they'll be implemented. I can't see how they won't impact many of you, both on the freelance/contracting side and those of you who commission them. As I see it, much of the typical work done by many freelancers in MedComms should fall outside IR35. But will it? We've just worked through some interesting case histories. I can see lots of unintended consequences. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm happy to be told so. But I'd love to speak with people in agencies who are - or aren't - at the moment reviewing working practices.

    If you think it's relevant to you, try the HMRC's CEST tool. You may be surprised.

    We've started talking about this amongst the freelancers who subscribe to the MedComms Workbook and I've been able to set up a Zoom meeting for them in November, when Matt Tyson and Nina Lasota-Long of WORKR GROUP will update us on new developments, including reflecting on the UK budget (planned for 6 November) and specifically addressing concerns about new IR35 rules. I hope that'll help shed light on what might happen.

    Having just run a Zoom meeting for the New Zealand Medical Writers a couple of days ago, is it going to be an opportunity for non-UK-based freelancers? Or will they get caught up in the unintended consequences?

    These Zoom meetings are great, by the way. How else could I gather a dozen of us together from across New Zealand, and be there myself?

    Of course, face-to-face is best. The real-world workshop that I've just attended, allowed more and easier discussion, and flexing around specific interests of the audience, than would have been possible online.

    However, I couldn't have gone to New Zealand on Sunday night and found writers in one place willing to meet with me.

    Both have been valuable.

    Tomorrow, the next of our weekly Zoom webinars is with patient information specialist Hannah Bridges, talking about Adapting your writing for patients and the public. Please join us from wherever in the world you are at 12.00 UK time.

    Then next week's webinar we'll talk about Life as a MedComms Freelancer with Emma Georgiou, Jane Mason and Sarah Smith.

    But squeezed in the middle, next Monday at the start of Open Access Week 2019, we're meeting in the real world here in Oxford, for a Research Roundup - advancing the publishing of pharmaceutical industry research supported by and featuring presentations from Oxford PharmaGenesis, but also featuring Jackie Marchington of Caudex talking about Good Practice for Conference Abstracts and Presentations: GPCAP. Importantly, Chris Winchester will launch their Open Pharma position statement on open access. Please join us.

    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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