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Opinion | Has the pandemic ushered in a new age of co-operation?

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Published Online: May 1st 2020

David Noble, Chief Operating Officer at TMM, continues to offer his thoughts on medical education and how the pandemic may have ushered in a new age of co-operation. 

As a small, but rapidly growing business, we have been presented with many and varied challenges posed by the global pandemic that is now a daily fact of life for all of us. I’ve read many articles about how businesses small and large are coping, changing and adapting, and how many of them are contributing to their local communities as well as to the global community. There are numerous articles and discussions considering the ‘new normal’ after the pandemic comes more under control and one of the top-ranking hashtags is #WFH. The sheer amount of information and number of articles can be overwhelming, we all have something to say, mostly of a positive nature about how we are coping as business leaders and employees, how we are adapting and how there is much more of a community spirit. Old barriers have been broken down, the cynics (possibly me included!) may suggest that this is temporary, and we will return back to a less co-operative business community in the months to come. Many of us claim to have learned lessons about ourselves, our teams, or businesses and even our industry. There doesn’t appear to be a PR ‘war’ in any sector, just a lot of people working together for the right reasons.

That said, there are businesses like ours, where some of the challenges being faced are not ‘new’ to us, though they are to others, we have the distinct advantage of being a virtual business ourselves and a business that provides virtual and on-demand solutions for our clients – we’ve always done this. I don’t say that to brag, I don’t say that as one-upmanship, in fact we’ve offered our counsel to many clients on a pro bono basis even if they are not working with us, we don’t imagine that those clients will switch from their trusted providers to us, but they may use our counsel and even some of

our solutions in the interim – we welcome that and are happy to work with clients and their incumbent providers.

Why would we do that, surely given the opportunity we would want to take business away from other education providers? I hear you ask. The answer is quite simple, no one company can dominate the medical education and communication sector – clients always seek variety, new ideas and ways of thinking and no single provider has a monopoly on that, we have long said that agencies should work together more strategically to raise standards – something we continue to champion. Yes, of course there is a degree of competition, we’d be disingenuous if we claimed otherwise, but that does not mean that we cannot assist each other when the need arises.

We see GSK and Sanofi joining forces to create a vaccine, so why shouldn’t medical education and communications companies work together for a common cause? Right now, that common cause is based around the fact that every major congress in the world has been cancelled, postponed, or converted to a virtual event. All of those scenarios present challenges for data dissemination and meaningful discussion about how new data on new compounds relate to clinical practice, no single company will be able to handle all of the needs of all the congresses and pharmaceutical company presentations.

We at TMM are ready to do our part, we already are, we are using our virtual technologies to conduct panel discussions, present data and discuss clinical practice. If you are a society, an agency, and educational provider or a supporting pharmaceutical or medical device company and you need our help, please contact us today…

We’d love to hear from you, contact us today. 

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