© 2009-2011 Ugur Akinci
Medical writing is a lucrative field for technical and copy writers alike. It’s one of those niches where these two genres overlap considerably since medical writing requires both technical knowledge and the skills of a good copy writer.
Legendary copy writer Bob Bly says this is how much he charges for some of his medical copy:
“A manufacturer of autoclaves – a machine used to sterilize surgical tools in the OR – paid me $8,000 to write a detailed brochure on its product line.
For a publisher, I wrote a promotion that successfully launched a consumer health newsletter. My fee for the letter was $10,000.
A company that distributes oxygen and other medical gases to hospitals needed a slick color brochure for their sales reps to take on appointments. For $2,500, I wrote a 6-pager for them.”
There are three general subject areas in which you can make a comfortable living as a medical writer:
1. Regulatory documentation.
2. Educational medical writing.
3. Copy for medical marketing materials.
1. Regulatory documentation includes writing the following types documents:
- Investigator’s brochures summarizing everything known about a drug.
- Clinical study protocols to make sure that clinical trials are conducted properly.
- Clinical study reports.
2. Educational medical writing includes:
- Materials for continuing medical education
- Medical journal articles for physicians, nurses and pharmacists
- Data presentations at medical congresses
- Drug monograph for sales representatives
- Patient educational brochures
- Medical books
- Articles for consumers
3. Copy for medical marketing materials include
- In-house medical writing for pharmaceutical companies.
- Outsourced medical writing as independent contractors hired by pharmaceutical companies.
Especially if you have any kind of medical background or an interest in medical issues, medical writing could be the niche you’ve been waiting for.