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Leveraging Thought Leader Relationships for Drug Launch Successes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – June 9, 2006.  Medical research thought leaders wield powerful influence in shaping clinical studies, launching products and anticipating competitor moves.  Indeed, pharmaceutical and biotechnology leaders know that forging deep relationships between their field-based medical specialists (FBMs) and the most esteemed academic physicians can have a tremendous impact on the market success of a drug.    

Knowing this, Best Practices, LLC, a leading benchmarking and consulting firm, conducted a study, Thought Leader Relationships: Building the Business, that explores how the most successful drug companies structure their thought leader management programs to maximize returns throughout the life cycle of a drug.  The research report reveals, for example, that top pharmaceutical companies seek only MDs and PharmDs for specialized FBM positions to ensure that these medical specialists can fluently engage in the medical language of the thought leaders to garner their respect.  In addition, benchmark partners report capturing the following key metrics to continually gauge program effectiveness and efficiency:

  • number of targeted thought leaders engaged at a given time
  • thought leader visibility measured by speaking or attendance at significant programs
  • cost of clinical trials involving FBM specialists compared to the number of publications relating to a drug

Pharmaceutical executives and managers of FBM specialist programs will value the compelling quantitative and qualitative data harvested from survey questions and interviews with pharmaceutical market leaders at AstraZeneca, Aventis, GSK, Merck, Pfizer and others.  The best practices divulged by these top flight companies promise to expedite the process for others to make competitive strides in improving their FBM specialist programs. 

Download a free excerpt of "Thought Leader Relationships: Building the Business" at or for more information, contact Dexter Beals at (919) 767-9229 or

Best Practices, LLC, is a benchmarking research firm that conducts work based on the simple yet profound principle that organizations can chart a course to superior economic performance by studying the best business practices, operating tactics and winning strategies of world-class companies. For over 12 years, our highly credentialed research staff has conducted primary research across every functional corporate area on every business challenge imaginable. 

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