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Facilitating Networking and Information Sharing amongst Pharmaceutical and MedComms, Medical Communications, Medical Education and Medical Publishing Specialists

This global initiative facilitates networking and dialogue amongst individuals working in and around the pharmaceutical industry and MedComms, focusing on specialist medical education, medical communications and medical publishing activities.
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    Every Tuesday we send out the MedComms Networking email newsletter to subscribers. It includes brief commentary on what we're doing and planning, and highlights relevant news to encourage sharing of information, experiences and ideas and to stimulate discussion. The text and links included below, by definition, were accurate on the day of publication, but may then become outdated.

    MedComms Networking - 09 November 2021


    I've been good for months. I kept my promise and haven't mentioned the off-payroll working (IR35) tax changes in the UK that finally came into force from 6 April 2021. Introduced a year later than planned, they affect how clients engage with freelancers. Nobody in MedComms wanted to talk about them in public (see my LinkedIn article from February). However, we all know a variety of approaches are being taken to navigate the new, rather muddled, rules.

    Then, a week ago, I chatted with some folks at one of the larger agencies and it was clear some practical challenges were becoming evident.

    So, I ran a quick survey to gain some real-world insights from the freelancers who subscribe to the MedComms Workbook and collected results from 91 individuals.

    I've now posted a short LinkedIn article, How have the new IR35 tax rules in the UK affected #MedComms freelancers?, together with links to the full data set to browse.

    What intrigues me is how different the freelancers' experiences have been.

    It looks like some freelancers have left clients behind and found new ones. There is currently so much work around, what's the problem? But that leaves disruption and casualties along the way. Client companies are trying to implement IR35 changes the way they think they should be implemented, but are facing an uphill struggle. Different clients think different approaches are the answer and it's clear that some of their answers are not suiting everyone. And, at least amongst these freelancers, there is strong resistance to working inside IR35, which will certainly cause some clients some headaches.

    I'd welcome your thoughts and your help in drawing attention to the data. Like it, share it, most importantly add your comments to it. Please help open up the discussion. MedComms is booming at the moment. There's more work than most people can handle. That's already leading to resourcing challenges for many. Is IR35 then a complicating factor? I think so. What about you?

    Meanwhile it was great fun talking about hybrid healthcare communications with the team from AXON communications last week. Is it the perfect blend or a recipe for disaster? Watch the recording and see what you think. A lot of the discussion was around events and we'll pick up on these points again in a couple of weeks, on Wednesday 24 November, when Andrew Winterburn (Director, 3Sixty Event Consulting) and Mark Lightowler (Founder and CEO, Phorix) and others reflect on Healthcare events: Revolution or evolution?

    Before that, tomorrow we'll hear tips for successful job hunting in MedComms from the team at Media Contacts and next week we'll talk about working as a medical publications professional with the folks from Envision Pharma.

    There's lots more coming, including our now traditional pre-Christmas #Medcomms Forum on 15 December, organised with Steven Walker of St Gilesmedical London and Berlin. This year we'll talk about succeeding in MedComms, despite what life throws at us. The programme is coming together quickly now. Please join us.

    Stay well, everyone.


    Peter Llewellyn
    Managing Director, NetworkPharma Ltd
    Follow me on Twitter @NetworkPharma
    Join more than 6,000 international colleagues in the MedComms Networking Linkedin Group
    The information at is always bang up-to-date!


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