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Healthcare Insights

Top 9 states in the northeastern U.S. for muscular dystrophy KOLs

Key opinion leaders (KOLs) provide critical guidance to life science companies throughout product development and beyond. Biopharma and medical device companies typically prioritize partnerships with KOLs whose bodies of work indicate credibility, expertise, and influence within a relevant disease area or therapy modality.

Physicians are often sought as KOLs in the life sciences and healthcare industries due to their first-hand experience with relevant treatments, procedures, research, and clinical trials. The most valued KOLs are often those who participate in a broad range of collaborations and have expertise in one or more fields of scientific and medical research.

Pharma and medical device companies staff medical science liaisons (MSLs) on medical affairs teams to educate physician KOLs about new treatments and research. MSL teams first map KOLs by therapy area and location, then create and execute an engagement strategy. To optimize this strategy, MSLs need comprehensive intelligence about target KOLs, including medical activities, conference presentations, industry payment data, scientific and clinical publications, and clinical trial participation.

Using Monocl ExpertInsight to combine and organize billions of disparate KOL data points from the Atlas Expert Dataset, we’ve mapped the top 9 states in the northeastern U.S. by the number of KOLs who treat muscular dystrophy, a rare disease and highly targeted therapy area for life science developers.

Top 9 northeastern states ranked by the most KOLs for muscular dystrophy

RankLocation% of total KOLs for muscular dystrophy in northeastern statesExplore dataset
1New York33%Explore
4New Jersey12%Explore
7New Hampshire4%Explore
8Rhode Island2%Explore

Fig. 1. Data is from Definitive Healthcare’s Monocl ExpertInsight platform with medical claims data from the Atlas Expert Dataset. Northeastern states were ranked by the number of residing KOLs with medical claims containing ICD-10 code G7100, muscular dystrophy.

What are the top states for muscular dystrophy KOLs?

The largest share of KOLs that diagnose and treat muscular dystrophy patients are found in New York state, where a third of these experts work. When combined with neighboring Pennsylvania’s 22% share, the two states hold more than half of all muscular dystrophy KOLs in the Northeast.

What are the criteria for KOLs?

Typically, KOLs are experienced, credible healthcare professionals or researchers with a sphere of influence and reputation for thought leadership within a particular therapy area. Common indicators of KOL expertise and impact include research published in high-profile journals, speaking engagements at major industry conferences, successful clinical trial volume, or experience with highly technical procedures.

Every life science organization has its own unique goals and strategic initiatives, and therefore every organization will have its specific criteria by which KOLs are defined and prioritized. Some organizations may seek to partner with a “rising star,” an emerging expert at the start of their career, to establish a long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship. Others may be looking for an expert with a considerable social media presence to influence younger physicians, or for a professional with a long record of working with a specific patient cohort.

Medical affairs teams should consider their organization’s business objectives and the makeup of their current KOL roster as they define the criteria for their KOLs. Routinely revisiting and reassessing these criteria will ensure new and ongoing partnerships continue to meet the organization’s needs.

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Healthcare Insights are developed with healthcare intelligence from the Definitive Healthcare platform. Want even more insights on KOLs and emerging experts? Start a free trial now and get access to the latest healthcare commercial intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare providers.