Audiences for medical writers are as varied as the documents that they write. Following are some different types of medical writing. Writers new to medical writing may be involved in one or two of these types while experienced medical writers are usually well versed with all these different types of writing:
Documents written under medical journalism are generally for public at large. Such documents generally consist of newspaper and magazine articles and are written in as simple language as possible.
For physicians and other healthcare professionals, medical writers are generally involved in writing textbooks, preparing online study material, powerpoint presentations, Continued Medical Education (CME) programs etc.
For patients, medical writers are routinely involved in developing education material. This generally falls under medico-marketing writing in pharmaceutical companies.
MEDICAL MARKETING OF HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS:
Medico-marketing writing comprises of a major chunk of total work that is assigned to medical writers working in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Many medical communication companies also hire medical writers to handle medico-marketing work outsourced to them. Medico-marketing writing involves developing promotional and advertising material, training manuals, product monographs, web content for general public, online learning study material etc.
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS:
Writing abstracts, posters and presentations for presenting research results at conferences, seminars and other meetings is very common for medical writers. Medical writers also write and review and edit journal articles and manuscripts.
Medical writers are a very important part of any new drug development team. They play a critical role in developing important research documents such as clinical trial protocols, informed consent forms, investigators brochures, clinical study reports, subject diaries etc.
A strong regulatory writing is team is crucial for any pharmaceutical or biotechnology company. They are generally the same writers involved in medico-marketing writing as well. Regulatory medical writers write documents needed for regulatory submissions such as for marketing approval of new drugs or for approval to conduct new clinical trials. Such documents involve package inserts of drugs, subject narratives, Common Technical Document (CTD), safety update reports, annual reports etc.
All these types of documents written by medical writers have their own set of audience and the language used must be optimized for each group for most effective communication to take place. Documents meant for lay people or general public must be as simple and as free from technical language as possible. Documents for the scientific community must meet their expectations and may contain technical jargon with research data & its explanation. Similarly, documents meant for regulatory agencies must be detailed and as per the formats and guidelines issued by them which medical writers must be aware about.