Meetings and Events

Spirit Group at the European Meeting of ISMPP, 22-23 January 2019

This year, over 300 publication professionals gathered at the European ISMPP meeting in London to discuss patient involvement, open access publishing, real-world evidence, data sharing, publication integrity, and many more engaging topics. We were very excited to see the growing interest in patients as active partners in clinical research and medical communications, relieved to witness…Read more »

This year, over 300 publication professionals gathered at the European ISMPP meeting in London to discuss patient involvement, open access publishing, real-world evidence, data sharing, publication integrity, and many more engaging topics. We were very excited to see the growing interest in patients as active partners in clinical research and medical communications, relieved to witness the increasing impact of real-world evidence, and braced ourselves for the exponential rise of the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare.

Enter your details here to request a copy of our Spotlight on ISMPP report, or contact us directly here to discuss any aspect of the evolution of the medical communications and the Spirit Group approach.

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Spirit Group looking forward to attending ISMPP EU 2019

Spirit Group is getting ready to meet you at ISMPP (International Society for Medical Publication Professionals) Europe 2019. Come over and see us at stand 3 to discuss the latest trends in publication planning and how Spirit Group brings Personality to all of our communication programmes.

Spirit Group is getting ready to meet you at ISMPP (International Society for Medical Publication Professionals) Europe 2019. Come over and see us at stand 3 to discuss the latest trends in publication planning and how Spirit Group brings Personality to all of our communication programmes.

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Spirit Group discusses Patient Engagement

Better informed patients = Better health outcomes – Spirit Group supports presentations on the gaps in information provision at PM Society Patient Engagement Interest Group event The PM Society’s Patient Engagement Interest Group (PEIG) hosted an insightful educational event at the Royal Society of Medicine in London on 27 November. The event gave the PEIG…Read more »

Better informed patients = Better health outcomes – Spirit Group supports presentations on the gaps in information provision at PM Society Patient Engagement Interest Group event

The PM Society’s Patient Engagement Interest Group (PEIG) hosted an insightful educational event at the Royal Society of Medicine in London on 27 November. The event gave the PEIG the opportunity to present the fascinating results of recent surveys of the views of doctors and patients alike.

Denise Silber, the Founder of Doctors 2.0 and You opened up proceedings on the day by reminding attendees that patient engagement is not a new concept.

Discussions about patient engagement started many years ago, with an initial focus on the important role of patient advocacy to represent the patients’ voice. Since then many more terms have been used, including e-patients, patient-centred care, patient engagement and participatory medicine. Many fantastic initiatives are now in place that really focus on patient involvement at all stages of their healthcare journey, but there is still a lot more to do, especially for more difficult to reach patient groups such as the young, the elderly and those with lower levels of literacy.

Assessing the health information needs of patients, caregivers, relatives and friends

One of Spirit Group’s Senior Scientific Directors, Nikki Kendrick, an active member of the PEIG, supported with a fully collaborative PEIG workstream survey that was circulated via the talkhealth platform and also distributed through the PEIG members’ own social media networks.

 

Spirit Group teams and their contacts also responded to the survey, providing their own personal insight on their information preferences either as carers or even patients themselves. Nikki co-presented the initial results of the survey (from 510 fully completed surveys) focusing on analysis of the quotes obtained through the open text fields. Overall, the online survey reported that those seeking health information did so on a regular (weekly/monthly) basis and most typically using technology, such as internet searching and mobile apps. Although as Deborah Wyatt pointed out in her presentation, this was an online survey! Despite being technically competent in using online sources, respondents still reported that they found many sources they searched out themselves either unhelpful or conflicting, adding to their confusion and causing frustration.

The information sources deemed most and least helpful amongst the survey respondents were:

The majority (43%) turned to online information sources because they felt they provided the most convenient and easy to access information. But they often doubted how trustworthy the information is and preferred getting information from their own doctor if that was possible. However, they were also aware of the time constraints in the health service system. Receiving direct communication with a personal touch was preferred by 22% of respondents.

Survey questions about the best types of information demonstrated clearly that no one type ticked all of the boxes for all people and so information should be provided in a variety of ways so that patients can have choice.

The survey also confirmed, amongst a smaller group of respondents who answered this section, that patient stories and local support, lay summaries of recent research and a system for access to experts on-demand would be very useful. The message seemed to be that even complex information was welcome and not to be avoided, although it should be presented in a clear, concise and straight forward language – just plain English!

In closing, both presenters confirmed how the results of the survey will really help in fine-tuning how all stakeholders, including the pharmaceutical industry, should approach the development of patient engagement strategies. The full results of the survey will be published in a PEIG White Paper after which the PEIG workstream will assess next steps e.g. the development of paper-based surveys, and other key areas that would warrant further investigation.

The event poster can be found on our twitter page here and the event summary from the PM Society can be found here.

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Game, set and match for Spirit Group!

Our Spirit Group summer business update provided a fantastic opportunity to bring together the majority of the Spirit Group family – our Didsbury and Alderley Park teams and our remote workers from across the UK. We celebrated a further quarter of medical communications success and growth, and our enthusiastic and forward-thinking Working Groups updated us…Read more »

Our Spirit Group summer business update provided a fantastic opportunity to bring together the majority of the Spirit Group family – our Didsbury and Alderley Park teams and our remote workers from across the UK. We celebrated a further quarter of medical communications success and growth, and our enthusiastic and forward-thinking Working Groups updated us on the business initiatives they have been prioritising to further enhance the executional and operational excellence that Spirit Group is renowned for.

The day was rounded off nicely with our own Wimbledon-themed event – complete with Pimms, strawberries & cream and lots of Spirited fun!

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Spirit Group at EULAR 2018

This year’s European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) congress was a busy one indeed! A record breaking >5000 abstract submissions and 32 industry-supported symposia, many running simultaneously, reflecting the highly-competitive nature of the meeting and underscoring the need for communications and content with a difference. Key front page EULAR Congress News themes included: Patient engagement with…Read more »

This year’s European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) congress was a busy one indeed! A record breaking >5000 abstract submissions and 32 industry-supported symposia, many running simultaneously, reflecting the highly-competitive nature of the meeting and underscoring the need for communications and content with a difference.

Key front page EULAR Congress News themes included:

Patient engagement with their treatment and their disease
Enabling and encouraging patients to be more than passive participants in their own care was a very hot topic. Dr Yeliz Prior, PhD, Director of postgraduate research at the School of Health Sciences at the University of Salford in Manchester, UK noted that “We know that patient information and education have been shown to improve pain, self-efficacy and overall quality of life in people with musculoskeletal conditions (MSCs)”.  She added that “Informed patients are better equipped to distinguish and manage the symptoms of MSCs, use treatments effectively, identify and access [the] appropriate health and social care services they need, manage work and develop better coping strategies to deal with the negative psychological impact of their own conditions, such as stress, anxiety and depression”.

The ‘Don’t Delay, Connect Today’ campaign
The theme of patient engagement was also reflected in EULARs ‘Don’t Delay, Connect Today’ campaign. The campaign is now in its second year and aims to raise awareness of how important early diagnosis, and early treatment where indicated, is in preventing further damage for people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). Prof. Gerd R. Burmester (Past President of EULAR and Professor of medicine at Berlin’s Charité University Clinic) noted that by encouraging people to work together, positive steps can be taken to improve the lives of those living with RMDs. This is particularly significant as awareness of the importance of early diagnosis is limited amongst the general public, in people with RMDs, and even among many doctors and health professionals in rheumatology.

Biosimilar use
The importance of keeping the patient at the centre of the decision to switch from an originator biologic to a biosimilar was also at the forefront of many presentations and discussions. There was a call for more randomised controlled trials on the safety of multiple switching, and discussion about the vital role of pharmacovigilance in confirming the safety of all biologics on a long-term basis.

We’re looking forward to next year’s agenda already!

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Spirit Group at the 23rd congress of the European Hematology Association

This weekend Spirit Group were in Stockholm, attending the 23rd congress of the European Hematology Association, one of the largest hematology events of the year. Hot topics this year included: The increasing use of biomarkers in the treatment of hematological malignancies. In addition to their prognostic value, biomarkers are increasingly being used to guide treatment…Read more »

This weekend Spirit Group were in Stockholm, attending the 23rd congress of the European Hematology Association, one of the largest hematology events of the year.

Hot topics this year included:

  • The increasing use of biomarkers in the treatment of hematological malignancies. In addition to their prognostic value, biomarkers are increasingly being used to guide treatment by identifying patients likely to respond to particular therapies or those at increased risk of adverse events.
  • The move away from chemotherapies towards using combinations of targeted therapies to treat indolent Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. With a plethora of targeted therapies either approved or under investigation for use in these indications, including anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies and B-cell receptor signaling inhibitors, the key challenge will be finding out the optimal way to combine these powerful agents.

This years’ presidential symposium (a session covering abstracts of particularly important scientific interest) included data from two studies involving rituximab, an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, in non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Presented first were data from the Phase 3 CLL11 study, which was designed to compare the efficacy and safety of rituximab and obinutuzumab (a glycoengineered anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody), both in combination with the chemotherapy agent chlorambucil, in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In this final analysis of the study, obinutuzumab was found to significantly prolong progression-free survival, time to next treatment and overall survival compared with rituximab; however, caution must be exercised as obinutuzumab was associated with greater toxicity than rituximab.

Also presented in this session were data from the Phase 3 RELEVANCE study, which was designed to compare the efficacy and safety of rituximab combined with either chemotherapy (current standard of care) or the immunomodulatory agent lenalidomide, in patients with follicular lymphoma. The two treatments were found to have comparable efficacy, but differences in their safety profiles, suggesting that rituximab plus lenalidomide may be a treatment option for certain patients at risk of toxicities associated with the current standard of care.

In summary, a wealth of interesting and exciting research was presented across the 4-day congress in both oral and poster format. We can’t wait to see the latest data at next year’s congress in Amsterdam; we hope to see you there!

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Spirit at eyeforpharma Barcelona, 13-15 March 2018

A team from Spirit Group attended eyeforpharma Medical Affairs in Barcelona to participate in lively discussions surrounding the evolution of Medical Affairs. One of the hot topics this year was Maintaining MSL authenticity under commercial pressures, with both plenary sessions and a Spirit-facilitated roundtable being dedicated exclusively to this subject. Key themes feeding into discussions on…Read more »

A team from Spirit Group attended eyeforpharma Medical Affairs in Barcelona to participate in lively discussions surrounding the evolution of Medical Affairs. One of the hot topics this year was Maintaining MSL authenticity under commercial pressures, with both plenary sessions and a Spirit-facilitated roundtable being dedicated exclusively to this subject.

Key themes feeding into discussions on maintaining MSL authenticity – during the plenary, the roundtable and a pre-congress survey of key Medical stakeholders – are captured in our eyeforpharma Barcelona Medical Affairs Newsletter.

Please click here to request a copy or to discuss any aspect of the evolution of the Medical function further.

 

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Spirit at the European ISMPP meeting in London, 23-24 January 2018

Increased data transparency, drives for open access as standard, and progress towards greater patient involvement in publications were the key themes at the 2018 European ISMPP meeting. The Spirit team were represented onsite by Amanda Pedder, Medical Writer and Ben Caldwell, Scientific Director. Exciting news came courtesy of Shire, who have committed to submit all…Read more »

Increased data transparency, drives for open access as standard, and progress towards greater patient involvement in publications were the key themes at the 2018 European ISMPP meeting. The Spirit team were represented onsite by Amanda Pedder, Medical Writer and Ben Caldwell, Scientific Director. Exciting news came courtesy of Shire, who have committed to submit all Shire-supported research manuscripts to journals offering open access. Their press release on the topic is available here: https://www.shire.com/en/newsroom/2018/january/xajhds

Over 300 publication experts attended the meeting; pharma/biotech staff represented almost one-third of the audience, and medical communications agencies were the majority of the remainder. The meeting was extremely stimulating, with a great deal of exciting research and debate presented both in the plenary sessions and in poster form. We’re looking forward to the next meeting already!

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Collaboration & Crystals!

We had a fantastic Company Meeting last week at the Great John Street Hotel in Manchester! Pioneers in Science connected to Manchester was the theme behind our teams (Lovell, Dalton, Rutherford, Kilburn) which set the scene for a day centred around innovative thinking to address common challenges in the Medical Communications environment. With several new…Read more »

We had a fantastic Company Meeting last week at the Great John Street Hotel in Manchester!

Pioneers in Science connected to Manchester was the theme behind our teams (Lovell, Dalton, Rutherford, Kilburn) which set the scene for a day centred around innovative thinking to address common challenges in the Medical Communications environment.

With several new starters in our midst as we continue to grow, we also capitalised on a prime opportunity to share insight and opinion to help shape the future of Spirit.

Not satisfied with just the fantastic outputs of this extremely productive meeting, we then faced the ultimate challenge… testing our skill, physical and mental abilities in the Crystal Maze – ‘Start the fans please!’

Well done to Team Dalton who came top of the leader board!, although all teams partook in a well-deserved celebratory drinkie…or three 😊

 

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Never a dull moment during congress season!

Our Client Services and Medical & Scientific Services teams are extremely busy co-ordinating a myriad of activities around three major congresses this month. Through fantastic teamwork, we have successfully navigated … – The challenge of obtaining over the summer holidays all author approvals required to ensure finalisation of oral presentations, print sign off and shipping…Read more »

Our Client Services and Medical & Scientific Services teams are extremely busy co-ordinating a myriad of activities around three major congresses this month. Through fantastic teamwork, we have successfully navigated …

– The challenge of obtaining over the summer holidays all author approvals required to ensure finalisation of oral presentations, print sign off and shipping of multiple postersincluding a winner of the Best Poster Award at ESMO!

– Working closely with authors and journal publishers to achieve hot-off-the-press data release in parallel with the relevant congress

– Co-ordination of a series of webinars delivering up-to-date data and clinical developments, broadcast simultaneously in multiple languages, with live question and answer functionality

– Juggling of multiple components to deliver cutting-edge, innovatively-themed symposia employing novel formats and the latest technologies

– Delivery of highly interactive content and high-spec animations for exhibition booths

– And, of course… smooth handling of all unforeseen circumstance, such as the need for last-minute filming of keynote speakers who can’t make it to the congress at the final hour.

In between all this, we are still finding time to fit in holidays of our own, and participate in bake offs and crowd surfing!

 

 

 

 

 

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