The term "healthcare communications" describes a part of the marketing mix which is complementary to, but separate from sales, advertising and direct mail. There is a wide range of activities that will fall within the remit of healthcare communications. Broadly speaking these range from ‘public relations’ such as working with the media or disease awareness campaigns to ‘medical education’ such as clinical meetings, symposia and education resources for healthcare professionals.
Healthcare communications plays a part in most of the activities that support a drug through its lifecycle:
Healthcare communications is a marriage of three areas: science; business and art. It is the combination of these three disciplines that often appeals to people and makes this career path a challenging and rewarding one.
Those who do well in healthcare communications are proactive, positive, professional and work well as part of a team. Although they will need to show creativity in their work, the pharmaceutical industry is regulated by the law and codes of practice in every country across the world, and healthcare communicators also need to abide by these regulations.
People working in healthcare communications in pharmaceutical companies might be based within a corporate affairs department, a communications department or be part of the brand teams. Those working in healthcare communications in pharmaceutical companies come from diverse backgrounds: sales force; NHS; patient groups; specialist communications consultancies; consumer marketing; pharmacy.