Outsourcing medical writing in pharma and healthcare companies is becoming increasingly popular. But how much does it cost to hire a freelance medical writer? How does one estimate the hourly rates and fees?
Freelance medical writers are becoming increasingly in-demand, especially as remote working is becoming the norm. Medical writers are hired in-house or as freelancers in the pharma, research and healthcare fields, helping to prepare technical documents and create marketing content. Here’s a brief overview of the kinds of medical writers, what they do, and how much they charge for their services as freelancers/consultants.
1. Regulatory writers
Prepare regulatory documents necessary for the approval of a clinical trial, a new product or a device. Regulatory writers typically have a relevant master’s/PhD and a certificate in regulatory writing or they have demonstrable experience of creating these documents. It’s essential to work with experienced regulatory consultants as mistakes in these documents can come at a heavy cost and can delay the approval process further.
How much does it cost to hire a regulatory writer?
Regulatory writers can charge USD 50 and above per hour, based on the kind of work you need to get done. For larger, more complex projects which involve in-depth consulting and understanding of the technical requirements, regulatory writers can charge USD 100 and above per hour. Investing carefully in the right kind of regulatory consultant can help you save money in the longer run. For example if you’re looking to hire a clinical evaluation report writer (EU MDR) then you might want to check if they’ve had experience writing CERs for devices similar to yours.
2. Clinical writers
Clinical writers (typical designations: Medical Writer, Senior Medical Writer, Medical Writer II, etc.) work within the clinical research setting of an organization. They help prepare clinical study reports, clinical trial protocols, research proposals, regulatory documents and grant applications. They may also overview and verify data and prepare tables and figures when necessary, helping to present data creatively. Of late, clinical trial protocol writers and analysts also work with medical device and pharma companies remotely on a freelance basis. This helps organizations access the most qualified people for the job while saving time and costs.
How much does it cost to hire a freelance medical writer for clinical projects?
Working with a clinical writer can cost between USD 40-60 per hour, depending on the complexity of the task and the level of experience required. However, experienced writers can charge above USD 80 per hour.
3. Scientific writers and editors
Freelance scientific editors can help you prepare a research paper for publication in a journal of your choice. Some scientific writers can also offer help with selecting the appropriate journal to increase your chances of publication.
Specialist medical writers have a strong background in a specific niche area such as cardiology or oncology. These writers can help with preparing scientific manuscripts for publication, including editing for content, copy and style. Freelance medical writers in this space work either independently or for organizations that offer research/publication services to specific industries and academia.
How much does it cost to hire a scientific editor ?
Scientific editing of journal papers typically cost between USD 40 and 60. The fee depends on the complexity of the script and the word length of the paper. Typically, editing/reviewing a journal article costs USD 500-1000; writing it costs USD 3000-5000. (This is based on data from Kolabtree.)
Typically, writing a grant proposal costs upwards of USD 1000, while amending/editing it costs USD 500-800. A freelance grant proposal writer charges between USD 40-60 but this may be more based on their rate of success and the kind of grant being applied for. (This is based on data from Kolabtree.)
Writing a review article typically costs USD 500-1000. Hourly rates range between USD 40-60.
Literature review report
Conducting a literature search from scratch costs USD 2000-4000, writing a report based on existing data costs USD 300-500. This also depends on the length of the report, the number of papers looked up in the literature search, any tables/graphs required, etc.
4. Medical content writers
Medical content writers typically develop marketing and educational content for a healthcare brand or company. They may write blog articles, create advertising campaigns, write content for sales material such as leaflets and brochures, and develop website content. Medical content writers may need to have a qualification in a medical-related field to be able to demonstrate a high level of authority in their field. This is also valued by search engines such as Google’s E-A-T guidelines.
How much does it cost to hire a medical content writer?
The cost of getting a white paper developed by an expert varies depending on the expertise required and the audience it’s targeted at. A 6-8 page white paper typically costs USD 500-1500 for a general audience and upwards of USD 3000 for a technical audience. Experts who develop white papers may charge approximately USD 50 per hour but experienced consultants may charge upwards of USD 100.
Typically, an expert-sourced blog article of about 1200-1600 words costs USD 400-800. Per hour, medical content writers charge between USD 30 and 50.
News or media article
Similarly the typical cost for a news or media article written by a scientific expert of about 800-1200 words costs USD 500-1000.
So how much does it cost to hire a freelance medical writer? Typically between USD 40 and USD 60 for less complex projects, and over USD 100 for more complex projects that involve a deep level of expertise. Medical writers play a key role in healthcare organizations of all sizes: from one-person startups to full-fledged global organizations. At each step of your product or research cycle, you need a write to prepare required documents and a medical content marketer to promote your company’s offerings. Medical writers are essential to healthcare companies of all sizes. The average salary of a medical writer in the UK is £33,283 and $72,000 in the USA. Working with freelancers helps organizations save costs on hiring full-time employees. The availability of a ready-to-hire global pool of freelance medical writers is a great asset for businesses to looking to find expertise quickly and easily.