Managed by NetworkPharma

Managed by

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.
Why not sign up to our weekly newsletter and please, help spread the word amongst all relevant others.


  • Home
  • About us
  • Testimonials
  • Events
  • Useful Reading
  • In the News
  • Companies
  • Independents
  • Services
  • Training Room
  • Job Adverts
  • Twittering
  • Webcasts
  • Podcasts
  • Starting out
  • Weekly Newsletter
  • Weekly Comment
  • Survey data
  • Sponsors

  • MedComms Networking on Facebook

    MedComms Networking on Linkedin

    MedComms Networking on Twitter

    MedComms Networking on YouTube

    MedComms Networking is sponsored by:

    Many thanks to all the Sponsors of MedComms Networking


    Emma D'Arcy, Leader of Strategic Insights at myPHID led a timely discussion about the new era of engagement in relationships between the pharmaceutical industry and the medical community. Emma provided insights from the research initiatives that myPHID is running and commented on the 'Health 2.0' technologies that will see all MedComms agencies including podcasts, blogging and social networking as part of the communication strategies they advise to clients.

    Neil Jones, Director of Branded Solutions at Medical Marketing Research International (MMRI) provided an excellent overview of the role of his product, COMM-NET as an incisive aid to KOL mapping and publication planning.

    [Click here for Neil's slides - PDF file, 1.8MB.]

    A summary of the meeting is published here below



    Overview written by Barbara Byth, Axon Communications

    Emma D'Arcy, Leader of Strategic Insights at myPHID, spoke about current issues in pharma industry – physician relationships.

    Puritanical prohibition

  • Despite the pharmacy industry being one of the most highly regulated industries, a small but vocal minority agitate against contact between physicians and industry. Industry involvement is perceived as working against the best interests of patients and leading to increases in healthcare costs. The room was divided as to whether this is a purely ‘anglo-saxon’ phenomenon – some participants reported that they had not experienced these problems with KOLs from European countries.

    Tarnished by industry

  • Industry engagement is not seen as positive by physicians, whereas it used to be an ‘esteem indicator’ (and still is in some countries).
  • There was some debate among participants about whether CME is the solution to this perception or whether it created the problem in the first place.

    What is a ‘KOL’

  • The role of the ‘key opinion leader’ is changing. Medical publications are being challenged as the main source of information for physicians and patients, reducing the influence of authors. With the rise of social media, information is both widely available and less controlled: more of a conversation rather than a one-way flow of opinion.
  • Some companies are moving towards engaging with ‘external experts’, recognising that a wide range of skills and experience can be brought to the table.

    Ignorance breeds contempt

  • Physicians increasingly do not know how to interact with industry, with little information provided as part of medical school training. There are a number of different guidelines, including European, national and society guidelines. Physicians may have low awareness of these and tend to rely on industry and medical education agencies to ensure adherence.

    Mediated not motivated

  • Media outlets tend to be dominated by anti-pharma voices, with blogs and social media allowing greater individual influence. Negative press is mostly conjecture and opinion. Even rational voices in favour of engagement can be misquoted.
  • Emma provided a preview of results from a recent ABPI survey of 2000 members of the public. Results show people are less concerned about physician-industry interactions and see pharma as innovators committed to developing new medicines and ‘saving lives’. Among other findings, the respondents reported that they trusted their doctor the most for health information, followed by the pharma industry and with the media least trusted.

    Time for a new era of engagement

    Having established the scope of the current problem, Emma then discussed strategies for improving industry – physician relationships in future.

  • There is a need to re-establish integrity and value of physician industry relationships, with physicians willing to talk about the benefits of their engagement with industry. Physicians need to take some responsibility for exploiting ‘the system’ in the past.
  • Both parties need to appreciate the value of sharing expertise and acknowledge what industry brings to the table. New relationships should be established that are mutually beneficial.
  • Industry should be more proactive in responding to unreasonable criticism. Social media provide an opportunity, but industry need to have a strategy and be prepared to relinquish control while remaining flexible to respond quickly to patient opinions and needs.
  • The recently published RCP report Innovating for health: Patients, physicians, the pharmaceutical industry and the NHS is one attempt to redress the balance.
  • The myPHID website at provides a hub for best working practice between healthcare professionals and pharma, with resources including relevant publications and information on ongoing initiatives.

    Neil Jones, Director of Branded Solutions at Medical Marketing Research International (MMRI) presented a publication-based research tool (COMM-net) for identifying KOLs and KOL networks. The technology uses data from Medline and Embase to create bespoke data bases that can be interrogated to identify leading authors, institutions and journals, as well as industry activity and collaborations. More information at

    To make sure you're included in announcements about future events just email Peter Llewellyn, if you haven't already done so, to register your interest.



    Presentations by:

    The session will be led by Emma D'Arcy, Leader, Scientific Insights at myPHID. Emma established myPHID in 2008 at the behest of industry and therapeutic leaders who wanted a more 'neutral' and collaborative environment where they could seek to interact authentically and openly. myPHID is spearheading appropriate ways of working according to 'Pharmony Principles' and is the only global hub to celebrate and educate about good relationship practices.

    Neil Jones, Director of Branded Solutions at Medical Marketing Research International (MMRI) Companies

    Axon Communications
    Clinical Expert Management
    Darwin Grey Communications
    Dove Medical Press
    Elements Communications
    Flutter + Wow
    Huntsworth Health
    Meridian HealthComms
    Solaris Health
    Springer Healthcare Communications
    Siyemi Learning
    Van Dongen Research
    Wolters Kluwer Health
    Zaicom MMC

    This web site and associated activities are being managed by NetworkPharma Ltd, Magdalen Centre, The Oxford Science Park, Oxford, OX4 4GA, UK
    Telephone +44 (0) 1865 784390 Email: