Key Opinion Leader, Key External Expert, Therapy Area Expert and Thought Leader: These terms are used interchangeably to describe an individual providing expert clinical, scientific or technical services to the Client. While inter-changeable with 'Key Opinion Leader – KOL', the general trend in the pharmaceutical industry now is to use the term 'External Expert'. In recent years many general medical affairs teams have moved away from using terminology such as 'developing' EEs and 'measuring their growth'. It is better to talk about 'fostering collaboration and enhancing effective scientific exchange with EEs', and seeking opportunities to 'measure and assess the effectiveness of these interactions'. An External Expert is someone who has a particular expertise or knowledge that is held in respect by their peer group and who is not employed directly by the client. The External Expert should have an independent and objective perspective on their specialist environment. Any discussion with External Experts should be on the basis of level of advice that they can provide (e.g. medical scientific knowledge) rather than their perceived influence.
KOL Identification: The process of identifying a number of individuals who match specific strategic or tactical requirements. A number of approaches may be used.
KOL Profiling: Once a KOL has been identified it is useful to have a more complete picture of their activities and interests. Various techniques may be employed including internet desk research.
KOL Mapping: There are a number of ways to map the KOL environment. In the past the term 'Influence mapping' was prevalent but as descried on the 'Terminology' page this should be avoided.
Rising Star: The term 'Rising Star' is frequently used in the pharmaceutical industry, but there is no apparent industry-wide accepted definition. Meaning and use vary across companies and geographies. A Rising Star is acknowledged to be a professional working in the healthcare industry who has the potential to be recognised as an External Expert. Rising Stars can work in any discipline relevant to healthcare and need not reflect purely clinicians or scientists (i.e. they may be healthcare policy makers, regulators, professionals involved in Health Technology Assessments, or technology horizon scanning activities). Across all disciplines, a Rising Star can be defined as a future EE with a growing reputation as an expert across a variety of EE attributes. Assessment of the effectiveness (quality and outcome) of these interactions - against the various EE attributes - will allow for meaningful measurement of engagement, whether it is continuing to evolve, showing signs of levelling off (plateauing) or even declining.
New entrant: This is CEM's preferred term for a potential Rising Star who has not yet been shown to be a future External Expert. They may be someone whose clinical / research focus has shifted from another area into the one under scrutiny. Until their demographics are confirmed it is not possible to describe them as a Rising Star.