The recent ‘PR war’ between pharmaceutical giant, Roche and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) over the latter’s rejection of the breast cancer drug, Kadcyla has shown how important the role of comms professionals has become in the life sciences sector.
“Drugs companies have moved from long term development of big-hitter therapies to producing medicines that target very specific conditions,” says Lucinda Moores, Practice Director at corporate communications recruitment specialist, VMA Group. “This means more drugs coming onto the market faster and a higher rejection rate by bodies such as NICE because of budgetary constraints. We’re consequently likely to see more and more focus on shaping and communicating the case for these treatments, not just through conventional channels, but increasingly across public media.”
According to VMA Group’s research this is likely to dramatically increase the already high demand for medical communications professionals.
“We fully expect that the most senior and technical roles in medical communications will continue to be held by individuals with masters and PhDs in life sciences and even by trained medical doctors. However, increasing pressures in the area are also likely to mean that both corporations and agencies will need to draw in talent from other parts of the PR industry to provide support and wider communication skills. Medical communications is consequently set to be a magnet for some of the best comms talent available over the next few years.”
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