This article is the tenth in a series produced by the Pharmaceutical Marketing Society’s Digital Interest Group to address some of the industry’s most pressing challenges in the digital space. They have been designed and written to inform and share good practice, but most importantly to generate discussion and collaboration.


The phrase “AI will not replace you, a person using it will” probably sums up how those working in #pharmamarketing and #medicalcommunications fields think about the acceleration we’ve seen in #AI since last November. The fusion of human expertise with AI tools undoubtedly presents new possibilities for each of us in our own roles; many of us will have had a play with ChatGPT or Dall-E2, but few are actively exploring how to integrate generative AI tools into our workflows to make a real difference.

In this article, we look beyond the hype and provide some predictions regarding the impact of generative AI on our industry in the years to come, plus some practical examples of how you can use the current generation of tools like ChatGPT to help today.

Is ChatGPT a Groundbreaking Tool?

AI is undoubtedly capable of impressive feats, accomplishing a wide range of tasks with great speed and immense quantity. However, it is important to note that while AI-generated outputs are free from plagiarism, AI generated text can often be identified by discerning human reviewers and there are several AI Detectors entering the market such as GLTR that are designed to identify AI generated copy. This indicates that in many areas, AI still has significant progress to make in terms of equalling human quality or human creativity.

ChatGPT, a Generative AI text chatbot, has garnered substantial attention, but it is just one of many AI tools currently under development, including Google’s Bard and image generation AI tools like DALL-E2 and Midjourney. OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, has achieved evolution in key areas rather than revolution. The success of ChatGPT lies in the amalgamation of several factors:

  1. Quantity of Training Data: The ChatGPT engine has undergone training with an extensive dataset comprising text from the internet, equivalent to one million books. This vast training data set makes it one of the largest ever used for an AI chatbot.
  2. Quality of Training: OpenAI has invested considerable time and resources in gathering additional human feedback, thereby enhancing the AI chatbot’s performance and results.
  3. Context and Refinement: The AI chatbot adeptly solicits user feedback in a conversational manner, improving the relevance and contextual accuracy of its responses.
  4. Accessibility: ChatGPT is readily available for testing and usage through a web browser, making it easily accessible to anyone.

Despite the user-friendly nature of ChatGPT, it still necessitates critical thinking from its users. It is vital to consider accuracy, impartiality, copyright compliance, safety, ethics, and other guiding principles before relying on the results. This is even more important in the heavily regulated world of pharmaceutical communications.  It is crucial to ensure you do not enter any private data into these engines – only submit content that is in the public domain to avoid the risk of breaching copyright or confidentiality agreements. Additionally, always fact-check the outputs provided by AI systems. 

Harnessing the Power of AI

Having established AI as a workplace tool, Let’s explore how it can bring value to our day-to-day work in the world of #medicalcommunications. ChatGPT and similar AI models excel in situations where speed, ease, and/or quantity of output take precedence over meticulous quality. They can prove immensely useful in tasks that would otherwise be hindered by time constraints or sheer scale. In this way, AI tools can release time for humans to focus on tasks that really require critical human thought and creativity.

The following are just a few examples where generative AI’s capabilities could be utilised. You can input our suggested prompt or try one of your own:

1. Inspiration: AI is a useful tool for kicking off a creative process with the capability of generating large volumes of creative ideas in seconds. These can then be used as a starting point for a creative brainstorm.

Prompt: List 25 suggestions for the name of an educational portal for oncologists using two words that alliterate

OR try the following in an image generator like DALL-E2 

Give me a set off photorealistic images of a patient receiving an infusion whilst sitting in a chair

2. Understanding: Simplify and condense complex paragraphs into easily comprehensible language or get help to complete a task you’re unsure of. For example, an SmPC could be simplified for a patient leaflet, and then the copy generated could be edited, refined and checked for accuracy and compliance by a skilled medical copywriter.

Prompt: Make this copy more succinct and easier to understand for a person with a reading age of 12: [paragraphs of complex text here]’


How do I work out if two columns of values have a relationship with each other using Excel?

3. Gaining Perspective: Describe how patients with a specific disease experience the effects of their condition and use this as a starting point to create realistic “virtual case studies” for HCP education.

Prompt: Write a ‘day in the life’ diary for a patient with severe COPD.


How would a patient with ‘COPD’ describe how the condition makes them feel?

4. Efficiency: Prepare for and follow up meetings.

Prompt: Summarise these notes into the five most important bullet points [long form notes]


Write an agenda for a brainstorming meeting about a company conference on ‘drug name here’.

5. Insights: Get an initial understanding of the market in which you operate and the challenges or opportunities your customers are facing and use this as a starting point to guide areas for further investigation by a scientific expert.

Prompt: Identify the top ten challenges faced by doctors when diagnosing [disease name].


Create a SWOT analysis for [drug name]

The few basic examples above show how by employing AI tools like ChatGPT, you can leverage their capabilities to trigger inspiration, create a starting point for your own work, and gain swift comprehension of intricate subjects.

The Road Ahead

Whilst AI technology like ChatGPT is still new and possesses some limitations and challenges, it is evident that AI is not poised to replace our jobs anytime soon. Instead, AI, like many other technological advancements, can act as an aid to streamline our tasks, improve efficiency, and potentially elevate our quality and creativity beyond what humans or AI could achieve independently.

Although some see generative AI as a threat and are actively resistant to its use, those that approach AI with an open mind and see its potential as a workplace assistant to enhance performance will be the ones to flourish in our new AI enabled world. In the words of Aristotle, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts!”

Authors: Chris Finch – Managing Director at earthware – a Prime Global agency; Brian Norman – CTO at Prime Global

Editors: Chris Wade – Associate Vice President, Strategic Solutions at Exeevo; James Turnbull – Founder at Camino Communications

The PM Society is a not-for-profit organisation that believes excellent healthcare Communications lead to better outcomes for patients.

We aim to:

  • Support organisations and people in healthcare
  • Recognise excellence and promote best practice
  • Provide education and development

Visit us here to learn more about the society and the value of becoming a member

The Digital Interest Group is made up of passionate pharma digital experts who volunteer their time to:

  • Promote digital best practices across pharma marketing and the wider commercial organisation
  • Explore and share an understanding of what digital strategies and tactics marketers in the life sciences sector can employ effectively to support their brand, business and customers.