Developing Key Messaging for Medical Solutions: Notes from the 2018 DIA

The Drug Information Association (DIA) provides a global stage for the discussion of healthcare challenges, within a collaborative and neutral setting. For more than 50 years, stakeholders from around the world have gathered to openly share knowledge and generate new insights. The annual DIA Global Annual Meeting is the largest, longest-running event in the life sciences industry, hosting over 6,000 professionals from the biotechnology, medical device, and pharmaceutical communities, spanning 50 countries and more than 450 exhibiting companies.

At the 2018 DIA, Director of Scientific Content for Six Degrees Medical (SDM), Kristine Jolliffe, PhD, participated in a session titled, “Scientific Communication Key Message Development, Management, and Dissemination”. Featuring two additional speakers (David B. Clemow, PhD, Advisor, Scientific Communications Information Strategy, Eli Lilly and Company and Wesley Portegies, MBA, CEO of Medicalwriters.com), the session provided solutions for optimizing key message development and disclosure, including input/output links, data-to-message mapping, and awareness/access details important for strategic alignment of scientific narratives.

The Current State of Key Messaging

Given how heavily regulated pharmaceutical messaging is, David B. Clemow emphasized in his talk the importance of creating a focused approach. In his opinion, today’s messaging is often chaotic and unplanned. He expressed the need for key messaging to be created through a structured approach, and explained that when the time and effort is put into preparation, it is possible to create effective messaging that is also non-promotional, per regulatory guidelines.

Survey: How Do Neurologists Prefer to Access Key Messages?

In Wesley Portegies’ talk, he detailed a study that his group conducted. In the study, neurologists were asked questions regarding their preference for methods of learning about drug products. Results of the study showed that neurologists prefer to learn drug information from scientific journals, rather than from drug company staff. They prefer this method as they perceive it to be scientifically validated and unbiased.

That being said, this research also proved that the average neurologist only has two hours per week to consume new product information. This significantly limits their time engaging with medical journals. Among Portegies’ proposed solutions are the development of summary videos to accompany articles, which would represent the same material from the scientific journal, but reduce consumption time.

The Future of Key Message Development for Medical Communications

Finally, SDM’s Kristine Jolliffe detailed three anonymized case studies in which SDM has successfully used advisory boards to develop key messaging. As a medical communications agency, SDM has created strategies to help their clients effectively use advisory board meetings as a development space for key messaging.

Advisory boards that work share a number of characteristics:

  • They contain the right advisors. These advisors possess a great deal of expertise, and remain a consistent part of the group over time.
  • They have the right objectives. Their agendas are focused and regionally appropriate.

Utilizing an advisory board to develop key messaging enables organizations to:

  • Interpret scientific data amongst subject matter experts
  • Workshop key messages in a group setting
  • Revisit and hone messaging over time
  • Refine key messaging as new data is released

Within a structured setting, advisors are able to maintain focus as key messagng is developed. And when those advisors are also able to return to the same group setting over time, to re-examine and hone messaging, the resulting communication is effective, up-to-date, and on-strategy.

For more information on SDM’s global medical communications expertise, visit: https://www.sixdegreesmed.com/.

Interested in learning more about developing key messages? Check out our recent blog on The Advisory Board “Laboratory” for Key Message Development

August 15th, 2018|Categories: Blog|