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  • Jed Mackenzie

Why Financial Executives Should Consider Outsourcing Medical Writing

Want to know how outsourcing medical writing can save you money, time, and resources while improving the quality and compliance of your documents?


What is medical writing and why is it important?

Medical writers are responsible for creating clear, accurate, and compliant documents that communicate scientific and clinical information to various audiences, such as regulators, health care professionals, patients, and investors.

Medical writing is a complex and specialized skill that requires extensive knowledge of medical terminology, therapeutic areas, regulatory guidelines, data analysis, and document design. Not every organization has the capacity or the expertise to handle medical writing in-house, especially when faced with tight deadlines, everchanging requirements, and multiple projects. Therefore, outsourcing medical writing to one specialized partner can be a smart and strategic decision for financial executives who want to optimize their resources and achieve their goals.

What are the hidden costs associated with in-house medical writing?

We understand that finding someone who shares your values, processes and operations is valuable and maybe the best solution is to hire medical writers within your organization - but have you thought about the hidden expenses that come with it?

Recruitment and training

Finding the right medical writers for your projects can be a daunting and lengthy process, especially in a competitive market. You may have to spend a lot of money and resources on advertising, screening, interviewing, and testing candidates, as well as providing them with orientation and training programs. These costs can add up quickly and reduce your return on investment.

Overhead and maintenance

In-house medical writers need a dedicated workspace, equipment, software, and other facilities to do their job well. You have to bear the costs of renting or buying office space, furnishing, utilities, internet, security, and other expenses. You also have to maintain and update the hardware and software systems regularly to ensure optimal performance and compliance with industry standards and regulations.

Employee benefits and taxes

As full-time employees, in-house medical writers deserve various benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, paid leave, bonuses, and incentives. You must pay for these benefits, as well as the payroll taxes and social security contributions, which can increase your labor costs significantly. Moreover, you have to deal with the administrative and legal aspects of managing employees, such as contracts, performance reviews, disciplinary actions, and termination procedures.

Turnover and retention costs

In-house medical writers may quit your organization for various reasons, such as better opportunities, higher salaries, personal issues, or dissatisfaction. When this happens, you have to incur the costs of replacing them, such as severance payments, recruitment fees, training expenses, and productivity losses. You also have to invest in retaining your existing medical writers, such as by providing them with career development, recognition, feedback, and rewards, which can also increase your costs.

These hidden costs can eat into your profits and compromise your quality, especially if you have a large volume of medical writing projects or a fluctuating demand. Outsourcing your medical writing projects can help you avoid these costs and enjoy more savings, efficiency, and quality.

What are the benefits of outsourcing medical writing?

Outsourcing medical writing can offer several advantages for financial executives, such as:

Cost savings

Outsourcing medical writing can reduce the fixed costs associated with hiring, training, and retaining in-house medical writers, as well as the variable costs of software, hardware, and office space. You can also save on taxes, benefits, and overheads. By outsourcing medical writing, you only pay for the services you need, when you need them, and at a competitive rate.

Time savings

Working with a specialist external medical writing team can help you meet your corporate and regulatory deadlines and avoid costly delays in your projects. It enables access to a pool of qualified and experienced medical writers who can deliver high-quality documents in a timely manner, without compromising on accuracy or compliance. You also free up your internal staff to focus on their core competencies and priorities.

Streamlined finances

Outsourcing medical writing to one specialist service provider makes it easier to keep track of invoices, allocated budgets, and ongoing contracts. It is important to select a vendor that can manage all your core medical writing activities, as well as Quality Control (QC), publishing, and medical communications.

Quality improvement

Leveraging the expertise and knowledge of medical writers who specialize in your therapeutic area, document type, and target audience enhances the quality and consistency of your documents. Additional quality assurance and quality control processes ensure that your documents meet the highest standards of clarity, readability, and compliance. High-quality documents increase the likelihood of first-time approval and ensure your route to market is as efficient (and economical) as possible.

Risk mitigation

Outsourcing medical writing can reduce your exposure to regulatory, legal, and reputational risks, as you can rely on the outsourcing provider to follow the latest guidelines, best practices, and ethical principles of medical writing. You can also avoid the risks of staff turnover, absenteeism, and burnout, which can affect the quality and continuity of your in-house medical writing.

Cost of medical writing

When deciding between outsourcing medical writing or maintaining an in-house team, it is important to understand the different drivers of cost for both options. Outsourcing medical writing to a vendor can be a cost-effective option, as the cost is based on actual hours of work done, with no fixed costs for salaries, benefits, or overheads. Vendors can also adjust the size and composition of the medical writing team based on project requirements, without additional costs for hiring and onboarding new writers. On the other hand, in-house medical writing teams result in both fixed and variable costs, including salaries, benefits, overheads, bonuses, promotions, and training. This means the cost of inhouse medical writing stays consistent throughout the year and costs can add up quickly, especially when the workload is low or unpredictable.


Outsourcing medical writing activity can be a cost-efficient approach for companies seeking the best value for money. In comparison to costly full-time medical writing teams, outsourcing can often save time, money, and resources, while ensuring quality, compliance, and accuracy. By outsourcing to a single medical writing partner, companies can streamline their finances and easily track their medical writing budget.


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