Never Be Blind-Sided by Unexpected Scientific Conference Data
JOSEPH B. LAUDANO, BS PHARM, PharmD
“We should have been prepared. Instead, we were blindsided by a late-breaker poster.”
That sentiment is all too-common. Imagine what happens at a conference when a speaker presents new research on an adverse event with one of your products? Your booth is mobbed by attendees wanting details; even the media may show up. Unfamiliar with this research, you may not have all of the details and are instantly in a difficult spot.
Wouldn’t it be helpful to have a snapshot of what’s being presented about your product and the competition before attending the meeting so that you could be ready?
Prepping for a Conference – Quick Strategic Analysis
Getting insights into everything that is being presented about your product before attending a conference is invaluable. Unfortunately, it’s also tedious when using traditional methods.
For instance, the abstract section on the website for the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology lists 2,997 abstracts spread over 201 pages. Searching for “adalimumab returned 14 pages of hits – roughly 208 abstracts. That search can be refined, but you are still left with notable quantities of material to digest before gleaning what’s likely to emerge from the meeting regarding that drug. The process is time-consuming and can’t be accomplished with the click of a button.
Medical Affairs analytics, in contrast, can sort through the abstracts and related data more efficiently than manual methods, revealing trends that help you anticipate the likely conference buzz so you won’t be caught off guard. Advanced analytical platforms can go beyond the surface, providing intelligence specific to certain drugs and determining which aspects of those drugs are generating the most conversation.
Using Medical Affairs Analytics
Analyzing Share of Scientific Voice – the percentage of scientific information linked to your drug – and the content behind it, is particularly important for scientific conferences. Newly presented data generated outside of your company – “organic data” – which are not managed by you, need to be tracked and evaluated as they relate to your product.
Start by looking broadly at the class of drugs your product belongs to. Then, quickly identify abstracts that mention your drug (and those of your competitors) and import the information into a pre-conference report for your entire product team. If you’re interested in a specific issue, such as adverse events or some other metric, apply a filter and run your search again. Then take a deeper dive into the information by reviewing the data and identifying potential issues. This insight can be extremely useful.
Even knowing trends in organic data for how often your drug is mentioned is useful. For example, if the numbers of mentions spike, that’s a fair indicator that something is happening. Perhaps the buzz is around a new use, or perhaps it’s an early warning of something else, such as compliance issues or side effects specific to a particular population.
Armed with this information, you now can develop a strategy for the conference, leveraging or responding to any critical information discussed about your product or competition. Whether it be with specific approved-for-promotion materials at the booth or unsolicited response documents addressing the situation by your Medical Information team, this “head’s up” ensures you are prepared for the conversation and can respond strategically.
Learning what others are saying about your drug before a conference can give you precious time to research likely questions and gather the necessary data. With enough lead time, you even may be able to prepare approved materials for distribution at the conference and thereafter, addressing areas generating particular interest. This can be extremely helpful to the product team and key opinion leaders (KOLs) who may be queried at the conference.
For Medical Affairs teams, it’s important to know not just what has happened with their drug but what’s happening now, as additional evidence emerges. The result is a better grasp of the mix of topics emphasized at upcoming meetings. And, using advanced analytics helps you develop that understanding quickly so you can be prepared.
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