In an article for the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP)’s The MAP newsletter, Gretchen Chidester and Alexandra Traut consider ways to make a global scientific communication platform (SCP) relevant to regional stakeholders.
They recommend that regional stakeholders are engaged early in the development process to allow for cohesive integration of their needs throughout the development of the document, rather than attempting retrograde fitting of content to the regional situation. This should include regional participation in insight generation activities such as gap analyses, literature reviews and scientific expert interviews.
“As the SCP is…intended to provide a foundation for all medical and scientific communications, it is important to ensure that the SCP accurately and adequately represents the needs of a broad range of internal stakeholders, including regional affiliates”
SCPs may need to emphasise either disease burden and differential diagnosis or real-world clinical evidence, depending on regional variation in product approval, highlight product differentiation to account for changing competitor landscapes and consider the patient journey in terms of in-country reimbursement processes. While regional stakeholders often include country medical directors, medical science liaison personnel, market access teams and health economic and outcomes researchers may provide more in-depth insights.
Top-level statements in the SCP are likely to describe the scientific story elements at the global level, whereas supporting statements provide the best opportunity to tailor to the regional situation due to the greater level of detail. Similarly, some pillars will be globally applicable, such as disease pathology, while other pillars, such as those addressing burden of disease, are more likely to benefit from region-specific considerations. When adapting the value pillar for regional applicability, publication managers may want to focus on clinical value rather than purely economic statements (which may be addressed in regional value dossiers) or develop secondary, region-specific statements. In addition, careful consideration of the lexicon in the context of cultural considerations should ensure that there are no potentially unintended connotations in the scientific messages.
In line with the initial development of the SCP, updates scheduled at regular intervals should engage regional stakeholders and meet their evolving needs. Surveys can show what has been most helpful and what could be done further to optimise regional implementation. The authors suggest that useful questions in preparation for these updates could include:
- Have any region-specific data (eg efficacy within a specific population) been generated that should be incorporated?
- Have there been any changes to the approved indication(s) or the competitive landscape that should be addressed?
- Have there been any changes to regional guidelines that should be integrated?
The authors note that making the SCP applicable to regional affiliates is a particularly worthwhile endeavour as these users often support multiple products, thus benefit greatly from having a scientific evidence base to leverage as they develop communications.
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