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The contradictory opportunities of a virtual future in healthcare communications

By Glen Halliwell and Beth Timm

Over the past 12 months, as medical communicators we have been at the centre of two conflicting, developing dynamics.

The pandemic has shifted opportunities for pharmaceutical clients to engage with their customers in a meaningful way, but at the same time it has forced us to increase the reach, frequency, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of medical education activities.

In parallel to this, away from the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a societal shift gathering impetus. We have seen a long overdue global focus on equality and inclusion – whether it’s based on gender, race, physical ability or sexual orientation.

A question then is: do the emerging COVID-19-driven dynamics afford us a ‘moment in time’-style opportunity to address an endemic lack of equality and inclusivity in our industry?

Maybe the virtual disruption is exactly what the pharmaceutical industry and scientific community need to reset biases and inequalities that have developed over time.

Consider the inequity of access created by holding congresses in the US and Europe; the difficulties faced by physicians in rural areas; those caring for young or elderly relatives, or those with mobility issues who want to attend events or collaborate with colleagues in person.

How about the institutional bias against women and people of minority ethnic backgrounds in clinical trial settings? Could a virtual or hybrid world begin to help us address these issues?

Glen Halliwell is Business Unit Director and Beth Timm is Associate Director, both at Langland

In association with

23rd June 2021

From: Marketing

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