A Medical writing agency that offers cost-effective and high-quality services is greatly preferred by pharmaceutical companies. A well-managed medical writing outsourcing initiative i.e., getting economical services with high-quality standards can bring pharmaceutical companies productivity savings.
Overall, more than 70% of medical writing is outsourced globally.1 Demand for medical writing will continue to grow as long as there is a need to develop and market drugs for the patient’s wellbeing. The pharmaceutical companies meet their medical writing requirements either by setting up in-house medical writing departments or by outsourcing. Currently, there are several medical writing business-operating models with each having its own share of pros and cons.
One of the models is where pharmaceutical companies typically have in-house writing teams integrated with medical or regulatory affairs departments. The advantage here is that the writers work very closely with the authors or scientific teams and are privy to the company’s product strategy. Thus, the writers are better placed to support the stakeholders by putting the scientific messages or data into the right context. The downside is that it involves huge fixed costs and hits the bottom line. Consequently, fewer global giant pharma companies can afford and operate on this model.
Few pharma companies follow a hybrid model, i.e., insourcing medical writing services from a low-cost location to internal regulatory or medical affairs teams that are based at global locations. The advantage is that being an integral part of the company’s strategy, medical writers can provide support in a cost-effective manner to internal teams. Furthermore, this model requires setting up teams at a remote location and involves a long-term investment both in terms of fixed costs and the efforts required in building teams.
A large portion of global medical writing is outsourced to medical writing agencies due to cost pressures on pharma companies. Some of the contract research organizations or medical writing agencies follow a service delivery model where they provide medical writing services to different pharma/healthcare companies and are generally not an integral part of the client organization. While some agencies work on the dedicated resourcing model where agency medical writers are year marked to the client’s account. This enables a long-term, strategic partnership with contractors, thereby, providing an integrated approach that aligns with the company’s data workflow and strategy. Consequently, the writers are better positioned to deliver as per the client’s expectations.2 Moreover, both these outsourcing models allow pharmaceutical companies to procure need-based services avoiding the huge fixed cost and staff maintenance—making it cost-effective and easy to manage.
Outsourcing to a medical writing agency is the way forward for most pharmaceutical companies. To manage their budgets effectively, they are often on the lookout for cost-effective service providers. One such choice could be medical communications agencies operating from a low-cost location and having low operational costs. This empowers them to provide cost-effective services to their clients.
1. Stevenson C, Kuppam H. Outsourcing medical writing to India and other low cost regions? Insights and strategies for improving quality and cost benefits. 2014 [Accessed on 8 Feb 2019]. Available at: https://www.beroeinc.com/whitepaperviewer/ outsourcing-medical-writing/.
2. Rajeev P, Makhija M. Awareness of medical writing as a profession and its career prospects. EMWA Journal 2018;27(4):46-51.
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