In a recent issue of the MAP newsletter from the International Society for Medial Publication Professionals (ISMPP), Dr Carolyn Hustad from Merck & Co., Inc. discussed the increasing trend for pharmaceutical and biotech companies to collaborate in the co-development of new products, particularly in the field of oncology. Dr Hustad highlighted that such partnerships can allow the pooling of resources, potentially speeding up the development process. The management of publications resulting from these joint ventures is usually decided during initial negotiations and set out in the partnership licensing agreement. Dr Hustad provided some best practice tips for publication professionals, to ensure the management of such publications runs smoothly:
- Get involved at an early stage, ideally before the licensing agreement has been signed, to confirm that the language used is clear and is consistent with good publication practices.
- Ascertain whether there are any differences between the partners’ policies and processes for data ownership/transparency and publication development. Work with a point of contact at each company to harmonise any differences.
- Form a joint publication team and develop a publication charter to define the roles within the team and capture all decisions relating to the publication process.
- Develop a joint publication plan and define how medical communications agency partners fit into this.
- Establish timelines for the development of publications and define who reviews the publications and when.
- Define who has permission to share congress presentations developed by each partner and whether partner-led publications can be used by medical information teams when creating other documents.
By following these best practices, Dr Hustad suggests potential misunderstandings that can lead to delays can be minimised, concluding that regular communication is vital for forging good working relationships and successful collaborations.
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