So results are in, and the MedComms Freelancing Barometer Survey 2024 has revealed consistent expressions of anxiety and insecurity about the health of the industry and the direction in which it is heading. The full results are at

Many of the 550 respondents mention the increasing power of AI to potentially wipe out the need for freelance support. I have wondered about the way that uncertainty and changes in the pharma business model are hitting our clients’ budgets. Virtually everyone agrees that 2023 saw a noticeable downturn in business, and 2024 does not appear to be picking up the pace anytime soon.

The most striking picture for me was the graph showing the massive proportion of freelance medical writers (73%) compared with other freelance roles. I used to fret about competing with other freelancers for work as an editor, but I think freelance medical writers have far more to worry about in that respect.

I admit that there are days when I miss the office banter, the social events and the free cupcakes, but then I remember the reasons why I went freelance. And it seems that many others do too, because despite the whiff of gloom, about 77% of respondents stated they were somewhat or very unlikely to stop freelancing this year, and 70% were satisfied or very satisfied with their role, which is heartening and suggests to me that, despite the financial uncertainty, the advantages of freedom, flexibility, self-management and choice of projects are still collectively more valuable than a corporate employee package. With or without cupcakes.