Who are the Key Opinion Leaders in Pharmaceuticals?

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As an experienced pharmaceutical professional, no one knows your drug better than you. But you can’t do all the marketing and physician presentations by yourself.

You know the value a key opinion leader (KOL) can bring to your go-to-market plan. KOLs are generally physicians or academics. However, to include a wider range of strategic partners, some industry players are switching to the term, “experts.”

From drug discovery through clinical trials and post-approval, experts are valuable strategic partners. No matter where you are in the drug development process, here is some key data you can use to find the perfect experts.

How to find experts for each step in the drug development process

Experts are often experienced physicians, but not always. Patient advocacy group members, journalists, academics, researchers, and rising stars within therapy area can be an expert.

Research and discovery

You can consult with experts to identify your target research areas. Physicians are on the front lines of patient care. This gives them unique insights into diagnosis and procedure trends. They also probably know which treatments are most effective for various patient populations.

Medical claims data can help to identify emerging markets. Your can find new research areas through the diagnoses and procedures with the most growth. From there, it’s much easier to identify physicians treating your target population — as well as the drugs they are using.

Clinical trials

Consulting with an expert is useful during multiple phases of the clinical trial process. During trial development, they can influence program design and differentiators.

A physician directory can help you find providers who have experience with clinical trials. The right database will even let you filter by the number of clinical trials a doctor participated in. You should also be able to segment physicians by region and primary therapy area.

Physician experts should know about the most common clinical trials. This experience means they can recommend ways to improve your outcomes. Improvements include choosing patient populations, recording comorbidities, or recommending trial length.

Drug approval

During the drug approval stage, experts often advise on the regulatory process. It is likely that experts have gone through drug approvals before and know what to expect. This can help your company preempt any objections to a new drug and be as prepared as possible for the rigorous expectations.

Physician drug market analytics will help you find the doctors prescribing competitor drugs. High-volume prescribers can act as experts with information drug effectiveness and side effects. These doctors can highlight how the new drug differs from existing treatments on the market. This can ease the approval process.

Post-approval and distribution

Once a new drug is approved, experts can build product awareness in their specialties and in the wider medical community. For this stage, it is vital to have access to physician and hospital affiliations data.

You can leverage an experts’ network to spread awareness of your new therapy. Well-connected experts can share their findings through speaking opportunities and published articles. This is a great way to build a base of early adopters and build reputability in the medical community.

Learn more

Partnering with the right expert can keep you ahead of your competitors and shorten time to market. You can trust these partners to give candid feedback. Ideally, they will share knowledge about industry news, previous clinical trials, and other developments in their specialties.

Are you interested in learning more about the data other pharmaceutical companies use? Watch our on-demand webinar, How Pharma Firms Use Definitive Healthcare to Commercialize A New Product.

Hear how data can be used to manage three common challenges:

• Effectively measuring market share

• Building your sales team based on market opportunity

• Increasing awareness and support unbranded conversations before commercial launch

Originally published September 11, 2019.

Written with contributions from Alanna Moriarty

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