Highlights from the Annual Meeting of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP)

Written by Jim Wood, VP, Writing and Editorial Services. Peloton Advantage on Thursday 2nd May 2019

The Annual Meeting of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) was held on April 15–17, 2019 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, USA. Employees of Peloton Advantage, now an OPEN Health company, joined OPEN Health Medical Communications colleagues from Chicago and the UK to unveil our new branding, disseminate information at our booth, present information through workshops, roundtables, and posters, and gather knowledge regarding the ISMPP’s 2019 theme, “Communicating Science in an Era of Innovation and Change”.

Key themes of the meeting included recent innovations and regulatory developments within the field of medical communications and their impact on medical publishing (e.g. blockchain technology; artificial & competitive intelligence; the PIE Act; and news from the FDA Patient Engagement Advisory Committee); emerging trends in medical publishing that will impact the way science is communicated (e.g. digital poster extenders; preprints; data deposition; and open access); and novel approaches for effective scientific communication. In addition to theme-based presentations, the meeting offered ongoing education on best practices in the development of medical communications.

Larry Radican, PhD, MPH, Vice President, Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) – Value Evidence Generation, joined Patti Peeples, RPh, PhD, CEO of HealthEconomics.com, to co-present a parallel session titled “Building Your Value Story/Value Dossier”, which focused on the construct of a value story and the types of data that can be used to develop value statements for stakeholders; the research methodologies used to develop a value story; the value story from the perspective of patients, providers, payers, and policy makers; the importance of incorporating real-world evidence/HEOR data into planning and analyses; and the role of the publication planner in the development of value communication tools.

Vicki Blasberg, Account Director, and Larry Radican joined Malgorzata Ciepielewska, Sr. Manager, Global Scientific Communications at Celgene, in conducting an interactive workshop titled “Integrating Comparative Effectiveness Research, Health Economics and Outcomes Research into Your Publication Plan”, which explained the role of comparative effectiveness research (CER, which focuses on generating/synthesizing comparative data from real-world evidence, as well as from randomized trials) and HEOR (which focuses on clinical, economic, and humanistic outcomes) in publication plan development. They explained that the goal of CER and HEOR is to help improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare by providing stakeholders with evidence on unmet needs, and the relative value of interventions in broad and diverse populations and in routine settings of care – in brief, to identify what works best for which patients, under which circumstances. The growing role and importance of CER and HEOR in publication planning were stressed as a focus for the future.

Laura McCormick, VP, Medical Direction, co-authored a poster titled “Preparation, Update, and Release of the ISMPP Code of Ethics”, which defined the process for the 2019 ISMPP Code of Ethics revision and will guide future updates. Lisa Bullard, Senior Account Director, co-authored the encore poster presentation titled “Patient Acknowledgements in Oncology Trial Publications”.

Larry Radican joined Tom Drake, Founder of the Global Outcomes Group, in co-moderating a Roundtable Session titled “Real-World Evidence from Pre-Specified Studies”. Laura McCormick also moderated a Roundtable Session titled “Predatory Journals and the Role of the Medical Publication Professional”.

Other key sessions included:

  • Better Together: Optimizing Industry/Client Relations”, which presented three case scenarios regarding best practices to optimize communication and relationship-building between agencies and their clients.
  • “Scientific Communication Platforms 301: Moving Beyond Development and Basic Implementation”, which built upon previous sessions and provided tips on measuring SCP integration, utilizing metrics to assess uptake, where to focus future updates and training, and developing payer value statements simultaneously with the SCP.
  • “Making a Statement: Author COIs and Disclosures – Opportunities for Transparency vs Obfuscation”, which examined terminology, cultural barriers, GPP3/ICMJE guidance, and issues of responsibility versus accountability in disclosures, centered on the recent news of a respected cancer researcher who failed to disclose certain corporate financial ties. A session, roundtable, and poster were devoted to this important topic.

As in previous years, the annual ISMPP meeting included a wealth of information, lively discussion, and knowledge sharing. The meeting represented the partnership of industry, agencies, and journals to uphold the values and mission of ISMPP, and Peloton Advantage is proud to be a leading agency in this partnership, with a commitment to excellence.