THE ALLIANCE | How pharma companies & physicians joined forces

Overview | Urology | Dermatology | Hair transplant surgery | Endocrinology | Merck & GSK | Study groups | References | People index

This special section, The Alliance, reveals how Merck collaborated with physician-researchers to produce and disseminate results from clinical trials of finasteride. These physicians took roles as investigators, consultants and speakers to help launch the drug—first as a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), then male pattern hair loss. Urologists were recruited to support the drug as a treatment for BPH, while dermatologists and hair transplant surgeons were engaged to support the later launch of finasteride for male hair loss.

The external physicians are known as ‘key opinion leaders’ (KOLs) because they spread the word about the drug within their field. Details on the KOLs are found in the navigation under the specialties: Urology, Dermatology, Hair transplant surgery and Endocrinology.

To learn more about the role of key opinion leaders, see Sergio Sismondo, How to make opinion leaders and influence people.