Seven Important Steps to Seamless Pharmaceutical Advisory Board Management


Pharmaceutical and medical device companies seeking guidance on clinical trials, marketing campaigns assessment, or product reimbursement strategies turn towards the expertise provided by key advisory boards. However, managing successful advisory boards today comes at a cost, which can be anywhere around $90k- $100K and is affected by factors such as location, size, venue, meeting length, vendor or participant fees. Companies are having a difficult time balancing between providing better results with lesser budgets and a tight regulatory environment, especially in light of the Sunshine Act.

Here are few Best Practices that companies can adopt that can help  them better plan advisory boards.

  • Be Objective: Setting clear goals and objectives is critical for a well-run advisory board. It is mutually beneficial for both the participants as well as the organization, as it not only fulfills participants’ requirements but also helps organizations target the right participants. Moreover, a clearly defined objective serves as a check in case advisory board members lose sight of goals.
  • Aim for Right Participants: Organizations must aim for capturing a broad spectrum of opinions through advisory boards, which requires the right mix of participants. As per Best Practices Benchmarking & Consulting, LLC’s recent research, companies mostly prefer physicians with national reach for physician, clinical and marketing advisory boards, while a mix of both national and regional members are apt for payer ad boards.
  • Choose Right Duration & Frequency: Just as choosing the right participants is necessary, so is setting the right frequency and duration for advisory board meetings. Conducting meetings at regular interval helps companies engage participants continuously.
  • Match Advisory Board’s Functional Responsibility: Functionally aligned advisory boards reduce miscommunication. Different functions usually head different advisory boards. So for e.g. Marketing advisory boards are usually managed by marketing and sales function.
  • Keep Up the Communication Flow: Regular communication is the key to a successfully managed advisory board. As per the latest research by Best Practices, LLC more than 80% of participants have identified regular communication as the topmost best practice for a well-run advisory board.
  • Track Payment to Ensure Compliance: Keeping track of payments in a changing regulatory environment, especially with the Sunshine Act, is a must for companies. Most companies at the onset are tracking payments made to physicians or are involving regulatory and legal affairs for this purpose.
  • Share Results: The final step to ensure success is sharing results internally and with the participants. Make sure the results provide action steps that are communicated to the participants. Doing this enables companies to track performance of advisory boards and also identify the loop holes that may be rectified through follow up.

If implemented successfully, advisory boards can be a useful tool for providing actionable deliverables and value that can benefit pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Managing Successful Advisory board

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