Spirit Live

Spirit at the University of Manchester

We are delighted to confirm that the Spirit team will be in attendance at the Medical Communications Careers Event, Manchester University on Wednesday, 16th September.   The event offers post-docs, PhD students and others from the biomedical sciences departments the opportunity to learn about a career in medical communications.  The Spirit team will be available from…Read more »

We are delighted to confirm that the Spirit team will be in attendance at the Medical Communications Careers Event, Manchester University on Wednesday, 16th September.   The event offers post-docs, PhD students and others from the biomedical sciences departments the opportunity to learn about a career in medical communications.  The Spirit team will be available from 1pm to 5.30pm at our stand to answer any questions as well as provide insight into working within an exciting global medical communications agency.

Where:  Medical Communications Career Event, Cordingley Lecture Theatre, Humanities Bridgeford Street Building, The University of Manchester

(directions – see building 35)

When:  Wednesday 16th September, 2015. Registration begins at 1pm, keynote speakers from 1.30pm finishing with afternoon tea and informal discussion from 3.30pm to 5.30pm.

See you there!

For more information contact Dawn Lobban

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GPP3 and ISMPP Ethics Committee’s perspective piece on publication planning

The recently published Good Publication Practice 3 (GPP3) guidelines, updated from the 2009 GPP2 guidelines, provide recommendations that are intended to help individuals and organisations maintain ethical, balanced and transparent publication practices that comply with legal and regulatory requirements. GPP3 was initiated and sponsored by the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP), and covers…Read more »

The recently published Good Publication Practice 3 (GPP3) guidelines, updated from the 2009 GPP2 guidelines, provide recommendations that are intended to help individuals and organisations maintain ethical, balanced and transparent publication practices that comply with legal and regulatory requirements. GPP3 was initiated and sponsored by the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP), and covers publications in peer-reviewed journals as well as presentations at scientific congresses.

Following the release of the GPP3 guidelines, the ISMPP Ethics Committee has published a perspectives piece on publication planning. This article discusses issues in publication ethics and the role and importance of well-organised publication planning in improving the overall integrity of the research process. In particular, the topics of authorship, acknowledgements, transparency and duplicate publications are debated. Indeed, rigorous publication planning can avoid such oversights as missed acknowledgements and guest authorship, both of which are serious ethical breaches, and can help avoid inappropriate practices, such as duplicate publications or untimely publication of partial results.

The authors conclude that effective publication planning can ultimately ensure that the scientific objectives of research are communicated to the medical community, health authorities and patients in a timely manner, and can provide important support for maintaining scientific and ethical research standards.

The full text of the article is available here, and you can read more about Spirit’s Publication Policy and our ethical approach to publications here.

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Another successful advisory board!

It is that time of the year… the time when you give yourself a pat on the back for having not only survived the last six months, but also navigated the first part of the year’s advisory boards, congresses, standalones etc. While the majority of clients have a well-earned rest over the summer, we look…Read more »

Czech beerr

It is that time of the year… the time when you give yourself a pat on the back for having not only survived the last six months, but also navigated the first part of the year’s advisory boards, congresses, standalones etc. While the majority of clients have a well-earned rest over the summer, we look forward to doing it all again in September and, in the meantime, getting some filing done!

With this in mind, it is with some relief and a tremendous amount of pride that we, the Spirit team, are happy to say that we have just completed the last big event of the season – yeah baby!!

A global standalone in was held in the lovely city of Prague in the Czech Republic. It was a one and a half day educational meeting with a global faculty of 16 great multidisciplinary speakers who shared their insights on the latest developments in their field. The carefully designed programme was not only highly informative, but also highly interactive with numerous case study presentations and panel debates. Simultaneous translation of the meeting as well as a live webcast and a meeting-specific website were also available to the delegates.

It was an arduous but satisfying task especially as the feedback from nearly 200 attendees across 17 countries was all extremely positive, which is brilliant! Our client was of course also thrilled… but never a team to rest on our laurels, we are looking to building on the live interaction elements showcased this year and bring even more digital technology to future offerings.

It wasn’t all work though as the team did get time for a quick one (or two)!!

By Verity and Sarah

To find our more about our scientific standalone meeting support see our meetings and events services page

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A pyramid in Rome

One of the things I like the most about my job in medical communications is the variety of countries I get to visit.  It’s always great to visit a new city and experience the local culture.  My last trip was to Rome, so I thought that I would share my experiences of the Eternal City….Read more »

One of the things I like the most about my job in medical communications is the variety of countries I get to visit.  It’s always great to visit a new city and experience the local culture.  My last trip was to Rome, so I thought that I would share my experiences of the Eternal City.

The great thing about Rome, apart from the stunning historical buildings and ancient architecture is of course the food!  After all the hard work delivering a very successful scientific meeting at the NH Giustuiniano, we took a scenic transfer to have dinner at La Fata Ignorante, a traditional Roman restaurant.  Our three course meal was utterly delicious (Cheese flan, steak and a chocolate mousse, accompanied by rioja of course!).   The restaurant owner, Gianluca and his team took great care of our group.  If you fancy experiencing it for yourself here is the link: http://www.lafataignorante.it/

Just a short walk from the restaurant is the Pyramid of Cestius.  I was quite surprised to see a Pyramid in Rome, it is one of the oldest and most well preserved ancient buildings in the city and definitely well worth a visit.

The scientific meeting which we arranged took place in the NH Giustiniano, a lovely 4 star hotel which is really well situated in the centre of Rome, close to The Vatican.  This is a great hotel for business meetings.  The meeting spaces are light and well air-conditioned (which we were very grateful for given the high temperature in the city during July!) and have all of the necessary equipment provided.  The guest bedroom I stayed in was very modern and had a balcony with a great view over part of the city.  I would really recommend this hotel, so check out the link http://www.nh-collection.com/it/hotel/nh-collection-roma-giustiniano

After a successful and enjoyable time in Rome, I’m definitely looking forward to my next trip abroad and continuing my adventures in med comms!

By Louise Banks: Account Manager

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8th Annual European CME Forum

With an ever increasing need for high quality independent medical education, interest within our client teams regarding the optimal approach to supporting CME-accredited initiatives continues to grow. As a key part of our business, the Spirit team keep up to date with developments in accredited medical education, so we are really looking forward to the…Read more »

With an ever increasing need for high quality independent medical education, interest within our client teams regarding the optimal approach to supporting CME-accredited initiatives continues to grow. As a key part of our business, the Spirit team keep up to date with developments in accredited medical education, so we are really looking forward to the forthcoming 8th Annual European CME Forum, to be held in Manchester, UK, later this year.

The interactive programme is designed to give delegates the opportunity to participate in key discussions with leading experts regarding hot topics in CME, as well as pick up practical tips on when and how to consider a CME accredited activity. More information can be found here: http://europeancmeforum.eu/the-eighth-annual-european-cme-forum/

Within the Spirit team we have extensive experience of delivering CME accredited programmes including live meetings, online training and educational programmes. Please do not hesitate to contact Dawn or Richard if you would like to discuss how the Spirit team can support you or your colleagues with CME accredited activities.

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NHS drugs to be marked with price

In a bid to encourage patient adherence to drug regimens, the NHS plans to publish the price of medicines costing more than £20 on packs, which will also be marked ‘funded by the UK taxpayer’. The plan was unveiled by health secretary Jeremy Hunt during the Local Government Association’s annual conference in Harrogate on Wednesday….Read more »

In a bid to encourage patient adherence to drug regimens, the NHS plans to publish the price of medicines costing more than £20 on packs, which will also be marked ‘funded by the UK taxpayer’. The plan was unveiled by health secretary Jeremy Hunt during the Local Government Association’s annual conference in Harrogate on Wednesday. Read the full story here.

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How to break into medical writing

For many graduates who enjoy science and love writing, medical writing sounds like the ideal career. However, without agency experience it can be difficult to get a foot in the door. Here, Team Spirit share some hints and tips on how to break into medical communications or MedComms… A successful medical writer needs energy, enthusiasm…Read more »

For many graduates who enjoy science and love writing, medical writing sounds like the ideal career. However, without agency experience it can be difficult to get a foot in the door. Here, Team Spirit share some hints and tips on how to break into medical communications or MedComms…

A successful medical writer needs energy, enthusiasm and excellent attention to detail. They should be proactive, innovative and deadline focused. A clear understanding of medical concepts is vital. While a PhD isn’t essential to become a medical writer, it will give you a leg up – the transferrable skills gained during a research degree can be invaluable when applying for a MedComms role. Desktop research is a huge part of medical writing – you’ll encounter a wide range of therapeutic areas, some of which you will have no prior knowledge in. Being able to use your research skills to become an expert quickly is a great strength. A good medical writer should take feedback well, have excellent organisation skills, be solution focused, a good listener, and have a good sense of humour!

If you’re interested in a future career in medical writing it’s a great idea to gain as much writing experience as possible. Spirit’s associate medical writer Holly Kramer took advantage of writing opportunities during her PhD studies, which gave her an advantage when applying for MedComms roles. She entered poster and science writing competitions, as well as attending workshops and masterclasses. Such science writing competitions include Access to Understanding and the Biochemical Society Science Communication Competition. Not only will these competitions boost you CV, but you could also be in with a chance of winning a prize!

One of Spirit’s new recruits, principal medical writer Caroline McGown, explains that when she was applying for medical writing jobs she was frustrated by the requirement for 2–3 years’ experience, but eventually she found a company advertising a job for which no previous experience was necessary. Caroline says that experience gained publishing review articles during her PhD, as well as her editorial experience at the British Journal of Anaesthesia, helped her secure her first medical writing role. Caroline worked at MedComms agencies in Madrid and Milan before joining Spirit in March.

A great CV is essential for getting noticed by a MedComms agency. Remember, your CV will be scrutinised by possibly a whole editorial department! Perfect spelling and grammar are essential. Spirit’s Director of Medical Strategy, Dawn Lobban, has seen her fair share of poor CVs. “I am constantly amazed at the number of applications we receive that contain spelling mistakes!” she says. “Remember you aren’t the best person to check your work – get someone else to read it”.

Most MedComms agencies expect applicants to complete a writing test as part of the interview process. Agencies will be checking your use of English, attention to detail and writing style, as well as your ability to complete the test within a reasonable timeframe. If you’re new to medical writing don’t panic – agencies will not expect you to be perfect straight away.  The writing test allows them to measure your current level and future potential.

If medical writing sounds like the career for you, and if you’re a proactive, ambitious individual with a commitment to ‘going beyond’ expectations, Spirit would encourage you to get in touch!

Useful links

MedComms Networking has an excellent free careers guide available here: http://www.medcommsnetworking.co.uk/careersguide.pdf

Next MedComms Job has extensive MedComms job listings, and the ability to filter by level of experience.

The European Medical Writers Association have a great advice sheet for medical writers available here: http://www.emwa.org/documents/about_us/Career.pdf

PhD to a career in medical communications: making the move from academia to MedComms

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Pharmaceutical companies called on to solve antibiotic crisis

A UK government-appointed review team, led by the economist Jim O’Neill, has called on the global pharmaceutical industry to pay for a $2bn (£1.3bn) innovation fund in order to revitalise research into antibiotics. The emergence of microbes that are resistant to current antibiotics present a significant threat to global health. In order to incentivise drug…Read more »

A UK government-appointed review team, led by the economist Jim O’Neill, has called on the global pharmaceutical industry to pay for a $2bn (£1.3bn) innovation fund in order to revitalise research into antibiotics. The emergence of microbes that are resistant to current antibiotics present a significant threat to global health. In order to incentivise drug development, the review team recommends that lump-sum payments should be made to pharmaceutical companies that create proven new antibiotics. Read more here.

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Apple® ResearchKit™, a game changer for medical research?

On March 9, 2015, Apple® announced ResearchKit™, an open source software framework designed for medical and health research, helping doctors and scientists gather data more frequently and more accurately from participants using iPhone® apps. This new technology aims to revolutionise the process of collecting patient data by empowering people to participate in and contribute to medical research.  The…Read more »

On March 9, 2015, Apple® announced ResearchKit™, an open source software framework designed for medical and health research, helping doctors and scientists gather data more frequently and more accurately from participants using iPhone® apps.

This new technology aims to revolutionise the process of collecting patient data by empowering people to participate in and contribute to medical research.  The potential benefit is clear to see; improved access to large-scale patient data, mitigating the patient recruitment issues which afflict many clinical trials.  However, the confidentiality of data storage remains a concern (remember the recent iCloud photo security issues?) and although ResearchKit™ does provide an informed consent process concerns have also been raised about how robust a ‘self-certification’ process actually is?  So, does ResearchKit™ present a ‘game-changing’ development in medical research or do the risks outweigh the benefits?

Read the Apple® press release here.

To learn more about Spirit Medical Communication’s digital solutions, contact Richard by following the link here.

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EMA invites comments on draft good practice guides

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), on behalf of the European Union (EU) Regulatory Network, has released two draft good practice guides that aim to improve the reporting, evaluation and prevention of medication errors by regulatory authorities and pharmaceutical industry throughout the EU. The deadline for stakeholders to send their comments to EMA is 14 June 2015. Link to…Read more »

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), on behalf of the European Union (EU) Regulatory Network, has released two draft good practice guides that aim to improve the reporting, evaluation and prevention of medication errors by regulatory authorities and pharmaceutical industry throughout the EU. The deadline for stakeholders to send their comments to EMA is 14 June 2015. Link to full EMA article here.

Spirit provides expert clinical/regulatory medical writing support click here to find out more

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