Chatting with Victoria Harvey, Principal Medical Writer, AXON Communications


Julia Walton at Media Contacts has chatted with Victoria Harvey, Principal Medical Writer, AXON Communications

What attracted you to this career in the first place?

The opportunity to be creative while still getting my fix of science

What’s your favourite part of your job?

Working with like-minded individuals to increase awareness of a particular disease, or therapy that could be potentially life changing for those facing the disease

What is the most challenging experience you have faced?

I will always say standalone events; they are as challenging as they are rewarding!

What’s the funniest memory and/or highlight of your career so far?

No specific highlight as such, but I do love a good drug launch!

Who would play you in the movie of your life?

Elastigirl (Mrs Incredible) – not in the hero sense. I think you need to be able to stretch and reshape yourself, while retaining your integrity, to be able to juggle the challenges of working in Med Comms with being a parent. I draw the line at lycra though!

What’s a typical day look like for you?

Busy! It’s obviously been switched up a bit with virtual events currently replacing face-to-face meetings. A good balance of discussing content, floating ideas, line-management, training and mentoring, and advising on strategy – currently also with a bit of home-schooling thrown into the mix!

Thanks, Victoria. Have a great #MedComms Day!


Today’s free MedComms webinar: Learning and development at AMICULUM

We’ve been running regular, free, weekly #MedComms webinars for a long time now. Details of upcoming events are always kept bang up-to-date at and all the recordings are freely available at or on the MedComms YouTube channel if you’ve missed them.

Today’s weekly webinar is at 12.00 UK time and everyone is welcome to join us. We’ll be talking about learning and development at AMICULUM.

In this webinar, we’ll provide an insight into the learning journey of a new medical writer or account executive during their first 12 months at AMICULUM. We’ll be joined by learning and development expert Louise Upton who will provide an overview of our in-house learning initiative, Curriculum, and demonstrate how our colleagues can use this platform to create their individual learning and development pathway. We will also be joined by Isabelle Blomfield (Medical writer, Seques), Emily Germon (Talent Acquisition, AMICULUM) and Priya Loi (Account handler, Comradis), members of our team who have recently joined AMICULUM – who will talk about their learning experience over the first 12 months of their career. Questions from the audience will be welcomed.



It’s sunny in Sweden

This just in from Freelance Marketing Consultant and Medical Writer, Kris Overby in Sweden. No lockdown here, but keep your distance!

Wishing everyone a great MedComms Day today from a sunny summer day in Sweden, where I am meeting a MedTech client at the Sigtuna foundation hotel today. We will discuss compilation of a literature reference list and have a socially-distant lunch in this pleasant courtyard.


A Day in the Life of a Medcomms Recruitment Consultant under Lockdown

Maz Reive, of Media Contacts, has shared her plan for her day ahead… I’m guessing it may be subject to some change, though, as the day unfolds! But you’ve got to start somewhere, and some planning always helps…

Here is my plan for today.

7:30am: My alarm goes, and dependent on how many snoozes I allow myself, I commute from bedroom to living room (*swish home office*) for a large cup of coffee and BBC breakfast around 8am.

9am: A morning call with my colleague, Julia, to set our goals and plans for the day and catch up on any new developments. I then run through emails, review new CVs and applications for the positions we are recruiting for. Today we are concentrating on finding a SAD and a PMW for an independent, boutique agency.

10am: Client and candidate calls – Presently, a significant portion of these discussions are spent examining the challenges presented by Covid-19. Rather than just an update on candidates, my call with a market access/HEOR focused agency client covers issues such as remote onboarding, and ways to ensure any new starters feel welcomed and supported.

11am: Client job brief – Today it’s a new vacancy brief for a SMW from the HR Director of a full-service medcomms agency based in Manchester. Despite the difficulties facing the recruitment industry, we are still receiving lots of vacancies which is very heartening!

12pm: Webinar – We have been utilising this time to engage with digital webinars and training opportunities. For a recruitment consultant is it essential to immerse yourself in the market you recruit into, so the webinars on Medcomms Networking are an excellent opportunity for me to gain insight into the industry.

1pm: At lunch I get out for a good walk and phone a colleague for a natter.  

2pm: Headhunting – This afternoon I will be making some initial approaches for the senior medical writer position I was briefed on earlier. The client is flexible and willing to see a medical writer ready for a step up or a senior writer from another agency looking for a new challenge. My geographical search limits are wider now that agencies are more open to remote working than ever, making my job a tiny bit easier!

4pm: Writing job adverts – As well as one for the SMW, I’ve got one to write for a PR agency in need of an Account Director.  

5pm: Candidate calls – A mixture of calls include checking in with a recently placed candidate to see how he is settling in at his new agency, a call to a senior candidate we’ve worked with in the past to see if she can recommend any talented writers and a call with a graduate looking for her first medcomms role!

5.45pm Finish – Just time to plan my diary for the next day before settling in with a big glass of wine and a boxset!



Wrapping up in New Zealand

Freelance medical writer Sheridan Henness together with Toby were online with us earlier at our meeting of the New Zealand Medical Writers, and has just wrapped up her working day.

MedComms Day 2020 is coming to a close in New Zealand. It’s hard to believe we’re at MedComms Day already, with all that’s been going on this year, but here we are. New Zealand is lucky enough to be free of all lockdown restrictions except for closed borders now, so our lives can return to some normality. Of course, in MedComms every day is different, so even in lockdown there’s some variety. Today I’ve been working on checking some data, writing a review and taking in some client comments across a broad range of therapy areas – cluster headache, influenza, and rare genetic diseases – so lots of variety. Of course now that we’re completely free to go outside and do whatever we want, some fresh air is a requirement as well, so my Chief Furry Officer Toby and I made it out for a run around the dog park, which has a great view of Auckland’s city centre and the Sky Tower. Now my CFO and I are just settling in for the night, but I hope everyone who’s just starting their MedComms Day has a good one!


MedComms Day hits Asia

Thanks to Huw Williams, Regional Scientific Director at MIMS, from Singapore who has gathered everyone together for a regional team huddle today, and a photo opportunity.

A busy day like any other at MIMS with team members all over Asia Pacific connecting via ZOOM to share best practices.

With teams in twelve countries, MIMS is the medical communications agency with the widest coverage across Asia Pacific, delivering scientific, innovative, and multichannel solutions that go beyond achieving our clients’ objectives to enable patients across the region to live ambitiously.

Big thanks to local team members from Singapore, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam for joining us on this special day!



Online with the New Zealand Medical Writers (and guests)

It was great fun chatting today with participants from New Zealand, Australia and the UK. Lots of talk about working through lockdowns, changing working patterns and practices and the challenges that might be faced by event organisers in the future. It was useful to have a good mix of freelancers and agency staff.

Thanks to Sally Bathgate, Manuela Callari, Marie Cheeseman, Richard Claes, Heather Graz, Sheridan Henness, Blair Hesp, Steven Inglis, Harriet Lamb, Daniel McGowan, Lakshini Mendis, Michael Molloy-Bland, Nicola Ryan, Yasmene Shah, Lyndal Staples and Michele Wilson for joining in.

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A welcome return to office life

Blair Hesp and his team at Kainic Medical Communications are back in the office after the end of lockdown in New Zealand.

It’s another busy start to the day at Kainic Medical Communications in New Zealand on another cold winter’s morning in the south of New Zealand. Most importantly, we’re also celebrating the move to COVID Alert Level 1, i.e. completely back to normal, but with border restrictions, after eliminating COVID-19 from New Zealand.

Following a quick run for coffee at our local café, taking advantage of the prepaid tab we set up to support them while they were closed for lockdown, we have sat down for our usual morning team meeting where everyone gets up to speed on incoming work from the Northern Hemisphere overnight. In addition to the usual posters, manuscripts, slides and other med comms work, the team are also hard at work with a number of internal initiatives.

We’ve just launched First in Human Communications, our specialist pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics/toxicology offering, and not only have writing work coming in for that already, but have plenty of work to cover off including managing international trademark applications today and follow-up materials to support the launch. We’re also working on putting a preprint up on MedRXiv as we await peer review comments to an internal research project analysing how open peer review affects both reviewer and author behaviour, which we hope to be getting comments back on soon.

We will of course also be joining the NZ medical writers group Zoom call later in an hour so, and now that we are back in the office, we hopefully won’t have kids and animals gatecrashing the call on our end anymore.


Celebrate MedComms Day 2020 with the New Zealand Medical Writers

Hosted by Peter Llewellyn of NetworkPharma Ltd and founder of the global MedComms Networking Community initiative, this will be an informal virtual meeting of the New Zealand Medical Writers. We’ll talk for an hour specifically about working life in New Zealand but anyone from the global MedComms commmunity elsewhere is welcome to join us as we celebrate a Day in the life of #MedComms. So, do please come and meet some New Zealanders!