For international pharmaceutical companies, the focus in Asia has – until recently – been on bringing branded, established products to Asian markets and distributing them by means of a large sales force. However, Asian countries are now also seen as high-priority markets for the launch of newer, innovative healthcare products. Because these are often high-cost, successful market entry calls for additional activities to persuade stakeholders of their value. Yet to expand such activities quickly is a challenge, and one to which pharmaceutical companies can rise most successfully if they are supported by medical agencies with an established track-record in delivering the services required.
The effective practice of medical affairs is increasingly important for the generation and communication of relevant evidence to a broad range of stakeholders. Driven by a passion for scientific rigour and a desire to understand the data and subject area as well as our clients, the experienced Medical Affairs Team at Costello Medical brings technical insight and creative solutions to the delivery of medical and clinical information, in both English and Chinese.
Our extensive track record in this area includes the following:
- Scientific support of international and local advisory boards, including KOL engagement, consultation with internal stakeholders, content and slide development, and report writing.
- Development of materials to support responses to unsolicited medical inquiries, such as scientific slide kits and standard-response documents.
- Internal training materials and events for field medical affairs and sales staff, to enhance their interactions with healthcare professionals.
- Support of medical affairs activities at international congresses, including slide kits detailing scientific presentations, scientific content for booth materials and concise scientific reports on congress content.
- Scientific support of international, regional and local educational events, including CME-approved events, scientific symposia and educational sessions at launch events.
We strive to work seamlessly alongside our clients to enhance the wider understanding of the ‘science behind the product’. We believe that, while medical affairs fulfils a pivotal function in its own right, it also has the power to improve market access and commercial activities by laying a strong foundation of scientific understanding on which to base the successful demonstration of clinical value.
At Costello Medical we recognise the importance of forging strong, transparent relationships between medical staff, KOLs and customer groups, so fostering successful collaborations that strengthen the scientific reputation of our clients.
Please contact Craig Brooks-Rooney for further information about our English and Chinese medical affairs services in Asia-Pacific.
Since the Costello Medical Singapore office was established in April 2014, our Asia-Pacific offering has grown rapidly and continues to expand our expertise, local language capability and client base in the region. A case study on Costello Medical’s successful international expansion from the UK was published by UK Trade & Investment, accessible here.
A major pharmaceutical company asked us to develop all of the scientific content and handle some key project management components for a large medical education event that they were sponsoring.
The educational meeting was intended to showcase their expertise in a therapeutic area where their product portfolio is particularly strong.
After helping to develop the event programme, we worked closely with the KOLs to create, edit and revise their presentations in the months leading up to the congress. Part of our role was to ensure the objective and impartial presentation of data on all products discussed, including those of our client, such that the meeting was in line with the continuing medical education (CME) requirements at the time. This helped to give the congress educational credibility and thereby secure attendance by an international group of over 400 practising clinicians.
Three members of our project team travelled to the congress venue early to put final preparations in place with our client’s medical education team. During the congress itself, our technical ability, the relationship of trust we had already built with the KOLs and their confidence in our scientific understanding enabled us to make accurate last-minute changes to their presentation slides on request.
This first congress, which represented a significant investment for our client, was judged by senior management to have been a major success and it has now become an annual event.
Over a period of three years, Costello Medical has provided extensive medical affairs support to a global pharmaceutical company aiming to expand its marketing licence for an existing product into a new therapy area.
Given our previous experience in developing medical affairs materials for the product in its current indication, we were asked by the client to provide scientific support for a global clinical advisory board on the new indication prior to the release of the pivotal phase III data, with the aim of developing the strategic communication plan for the product in the run-up to launch.
Since this initial involvement in the clinical analysis of the product in the new indication, Costello Medical has gone on to support the client across a wide range of medical affairs activities at both the global and regional level. We have developed internal training materials and supported training events; collaborated with KOLs to deliver CME-accredited scientific symposia; and created scientific slide kits and standard-response documents containing information on data presented at congresses. All these medical affairs activities have combined to address a key challenge faced by the client, namely the limited awareness and understanding of the disease area within the healthcare community and the implications of this for making appropriate treatment decisions.
Our extensive knowledge of the disease area and the product was reflected in the client’s request for additional assistance with crucial preparations for an FDA Advisory Committee meeting for the product in the new indication. This required close cooperation with KOLs and senior company personnel to develop the story, as well as the analysis and dissemination of lessons from the Committee meeting to further guide the communication strategy for the product.