|Publisher version (open access)||168 KB||Adobe Acrobat PDF||View/Open
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/39779
- Key opinion leaders: independent experts or drug representatives in disguise?
- The University of Newcastle. Faculty of Health, School of Medicine and Public Health
- In the world of medicine, “key opinion leader” is the somewhat Orwellian term used to describe the senior doctors who help drug companies sell drugs. These influential doctors are engaged by industry to advise on marketing and help boost sales of new medicines. Like drug marketing strategies, the use of key opinion leaders is a global phenomenon. In an article for UK based Pharmaceutical Marketing magazine describing the “tricks of the trade,” drug company marketing staff are urged to work routinely with key opinion leaders and try to make them into “product champions.” Importantly, marketing staff should find doctors who will endorse their products, “who may be further down the influence ladder,” and then help “raise their profile, and so develop them into opinion leaders.” Former sales representative Ms Elliott says drug companies desperately need key opinion leaders. “There are a lot of physicians who don’t believe what we as drug representatives say. If we have a KOL [key opinion leader] stand in front of them and say the same thing, they believe it." If industry’s sponsorship of medical education is wound back, it is possible that more independent sources of funding will be secured. Yet if the speakers giving the educational presentations in any newly independent forums continue to be the overpaid “thought leaders” on the drug company payrolls, little, if anything, will have been gained.
- British Medical Journal Vol. 336, p. 1402-1403
- Publisher Link
- BMJ Publishing Group
key opinion leader;
drug marketing strategies;
- Resource Type
- journal article
- Full Text