The past several years have seen the rapid growth of the Medical Writing field, with the market more than doubling from an estimated $345 million in 2003 to $694 million in 2008, according to a Centerwatch Monthly report. Membership in the American Medical Writers Association, which sets the profession’s standards, increased 14% in the same time to nearly 5,700 members globally. Additionally, two dozen colleges and universities have recently established either certificate or degree programs in medical or scientific communication. Across the industry, Medical Writers are being highly prized for their ability to communicate scientific data effectively and efficiently, as well as taking on additional roles, such as transnational trial coordination and quality assurance, in the drug development process.
What do Medical Writers do?
Medical Writers both have a thorough background in scientific areas and are adept at communicating this information to various audiences. They perform numerous important functions, including the following:
- Communicate scientific and clinical data to a range of audiences in a wide variety of formats
- Combine scientific knowledge and their research skills to present information for targeted audiences
- Write clinical trial protocols, clinical study reports, and other documents for submission to the FDA
- Prepare journal articles, conference posters/presentations, internet content, and training/marketing materials
Is Medical Writing for me?
Before you consider entering the Medical Writing field, know that there are several key attributes that make the field a fit for individuals:
- Interest in scientific fields and writing
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- High-level detail orientation
- Good interpersonal skills and “team player” attitude
- Ability to multi-task, learn “on-the-job”, and meet project deadlines
Additionally, Medical Writers are expected to have a level of technical knowledge and skills such as:
- Current scientific writing and editing techniques
- Software and systems, such as document management software, Microsoft Office suite, as well as reference, literature, and publishing software
- Company policies, procedures, and tools
- Industry guidelines
- Scientific area background with statistical knowledge preferred
Who do Medical Writers work for?
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Medical communication agencies
- Contract Research Organizations (CRO)
- Freelance Publishers
- Academic Medical Centers, Medical Associations, Publishers, Magazines, Websites
What are the benefits?
- High involvement with the latest scientific research and information
- Rewarding work that makes a difference
- Can have flexible work hours
- Current high market demand for Medical Writers
- A number of opportunities for career development
- High entry level compensation (~$50-60,000) and employee benefits
- Flexibility to switch jobs
What jobs are available?
Advanced Clinical has a number of exciting Medical Writing opportunities available across a wide range of experience, including:
Senior Medical Writing Program Manager (Oncology) – Northern Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois
One of our clients is seeking a Senior Medical Writing Program Manager (Oncology) also known as Global Medical Writing Lead, generally for early- to mid-stage development global project teams and may act as a back-up/supporting GMWRL for several projects.
The individual will provide:
- Project leadership with respect to program documents and writing activities commensurate with experience
- Review of work and manage/coordinate writing activities across an entire program, and may review and amend the work plans developed by a Document Working Group Facilitator (DWGF; lead medical writer in a working group) for a particular document
- Intellectual leadership and contributes document knowledge and expertise to the project team
Associate Director, Medical Writing – Princeton, New Jersey
A client in the Princeton NJ area is looking to add a permanent Associate Director of Medical Writing to their team.
The individual’s responsibilities include:
- Deliver high quality regulatory documents in accordance with regulatory guidelines that meet ICH standards, project timelines, and specifications set forth for the projects
- Prepare clinical summary documents, including (but not limited to) Integrated Summaries of Safety and Efficacy for NDAs, MAAs, and/or NDA Supplements/Type II variations in eCTD format
- Coordinate and prepare Meeting Content Packages, and responses to regulatory authorities as well as the management and preparation of a variety of clinical documents including clinical study reports, narratives, investigator brochures for Phase I to IV clinical trials, and drug safety related documents such as Periodic Safety Update Reports
Senior Medical Writers/Writing Team Leaders – Worldwide
A client is seeking experienced medical writers to serve as Team Leaders at their office locations around the world.
Team Leaders are strategic consultants, project leaders, and hands-on writers who:
- Serve as subject-matter experts for clients, guiding and advising them on strategies and best practices for achieving approval from health authorities
- Serve as subject-matter experts for team writers, providing leadership, advice, and continual mentoring
- Actively participate in development and writing of documents
- Ensure quality, adherence to budgets and timelines, and compliance with SOPs, policies, and other guidance as required by the company, regulatory bodies, and individual clients