The increasing use of technologies such as multimedia devices and the internet has opened up new opportunities for the pharmaceutical and communications companies to achieve multiple objectives such as product marketing, creating company training programs, communicating with potential and existing consumers, conducting CME (continuing medical education) programs for physicians etc.
Some electronic projects (non-print publications) that may require a medical writers contribution in content development are:
Information about drugs, their use, efficacy data and safety profile, are now being made available by pharmaceutical companies on specific websites. Many companies develop websites to train internal staff or to conduct CME programs for physicians. Websites also enable the companies to announce events and meetings publicly, allowing the participants to register online, book hotels & flights and to submit the required information to the event organizers.
Registered members can easily be informed about new content in the form of simple letters, directing them to read the updated content online; or sending updates on regular intervals (e.g. quarterly, biannually, annually); or by sending simple PDF files containing the informative articles or news.
One of the most convenient ways to carry information is in the form of a CD, as it is portable and can store a lot of information, which can be played back on computers or laptops. Video recordings of talks or lectures delivered by well known speakers, or of other significant events, available on a CD-ROM gives people a chance to view them and learn from them even if they were not present during the event. CD-ROM’s are also used to store information regarding drugs, scientific papers, patient educational material, employee training programs, special software’s for physicians etc.
Medical writers are also involved in preparing conference materials, as many communications agencies that they work for provide event management services to clients. These events range from a small meetings with few participants to large international conferences with delegates from across the globe. Conference materials that medical writer’s commonly prepare are: Invitation letters, meeting agendas, conference kits, meeting reports etc.