The Value of Well-Written Medical Writing

The value of developing scientific content as it relates to the needs of the pharmaceutical industry and the products they market continues to grow. Many if not most of the decisions made by health care providers regarding the use of pharmaceuticals in the care of patients comes from information they learn from colleagues, presentations they attend at professional meetings and other places regarding recent research findings, calls they make to pharmaceutical companies for patient care assistance and the published medical literature.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration works with pharmaceutical companies in scheduling product research timelines that hopefully lead to product approval for specific indications, product labeling guidelines, assembling package insert language, the approval of promotional materials and other regulatory assistance. Pharmaceutical companies themselves recognize the additional role they must play in keeping drug product information accurate and useful to all segments of health care and consumers. The companies typically either do this by working internally or they may outsource some of this work to vendors who have health specialists that are also writers. These vendors are skilled at taking drug product research findings and completing different projects for such companies. Examples of an increasing number of professional projects they typically provide include:

  • Preparing and periodically revising Standard Response Documents (SRDs) that drug companies approve for distribution to health care providers who request such information
  • Preparing and updating or revising Product-specific Dossiers which are used to evaluate the use of new pharmaceuticals at many health care facilities
  • The preparation of Professional slide decks which may be used for a variety of reasons including for sales and marketing meetings as well as internal staff development
  • A critical and compliant review of promotional materials that the company has developed for advertising agencies and the media
  • Assisting companies with different facets of the process called Publication Planning
  • Preparing scientific and nonscientific materials designed for use at professional meetings
  • Writing drafts of publications that are intended for submission to scientific journals
  • Assisting with other writing projects for which companies identify specific needs