The challenges of multi-platform medical writing

Medical writing is a critical function in any healthcare communications company, providing a challenge to the writer to produce diverse types of output to educate and/or inform a range of audience groups about drugs and diseases. The resulting material may be targeted at any of the following groups:- scientific audiences, pharmaceutical company employees, health care practitioners and/or patients. The medical writer needs to be able to understand both the needs and level of scientific comprehension of each target audience, then utilize his/her own skills to write succinctly and to communicate accurately with them.

A medical writer’s output can include slide sets, posters, brochures, newsletters, conference reports and scientific papers. Most of these outputs are increasingly transitioning to new platforms, away from traditional printed formats. The challenge for the medical writer is to marry the requirements of the brief from the client to the needs of the target audience(s) while producing clear and accurate communications. In addition to ensuring scientific and medical accuracy, there is also a need for the writer to ensure that all materials comply with guidelines that have been established by bodies such as the ABPI (Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry).

Purple’s goal of building up its healthcare team and broadening the team’s capabilities highlighted the need to develop the internal scientific writing resource rather than relying on a pool of freelance medical writers. In addition to enhancing the team’s flexibility in meeting the diverse requirements of its clients, this provides Purple’s healthcare team with greater scientific credibility when dealing. The establishment of a “scientific hub” within Purple, whose capabilities encompass copy writing, medical editing and medical writing, provides a strong team to meet the diverse healthcare communication needs of its clients. Moreover, the availability of a dedicated writing resource within Purple facilitates the Commercial Teams’ ability to deliver higher value business from the companies that they deal with. Their success then provides the writing team with more creative opportunities in addition to enhancing Purple’s revenues.

I joined Purple as a Senior Medical Writer to provide the healthcare team with both writing experience and pharmaceutical industry insights. These have been developed through many years of experience of the pharmaceutical industry, originally in research and then as a freelance writer. My writing career has spanned all therapeutic areas and involved producing material for audiences ranging from scientists to financial analysts. The attraction of Purple was the ability to produce material for use across a range of platforms, exploiting opportunities to produce interactive material in addition to more conventional formats reflecting how medical communications is increasingly transitioning to exploit new modes of delivering critical messages.

For more information as to how The Purple agency can help you with medical writing and multi-platform communication contact us at

Peter Norman

Peter joined Purple earlier this year as a Senior Medical Writer working across an impressive number of pharmaceutical clients and their respective therapy areas. Peter works alongside a team of copywriters, medical writers, editors and proofreaders here at Purple writing clear and engaging content helping to deliver engaging experiences for our clients and their customers.