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difference between medical writing and CMC writing
13 Oct 2023

What is the difference between medical writing and cmc writing?

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Medical writing and CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls) writing are two distinct areas within the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry. They involve different types of documentation and content.

Here are the key differences between medical writing and CMC writing:

Focus and Purpose of Medical Writing and CMC Wrirting

  • Medical Writing: Medical writing primarily deals with creating documents related to the clinical and regulatory aspects of drug development. This includes preparing documents for clinical trials, regulatory submissions, and publications in scientific journals. Medical writers often work on documents like clinical study protocols, clinical study reports, Investigator’s Brochures, patient informed consent forms, and regulatory submissions (e.g., New Drug Applications or Marketing Authorization Applications).
  • CMC Writing: CMC writing, on the other hand, focuses on the Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls aspects of drug development. The purpose is to provide detailed information about the drug’s composition, manufacturing processes, and quality control measures to ensure product consistency and safety. CMC writers create documents for regulatory submissions, including the Common Technical Document (CTD) Module 3, which covers drug product manufacturing, specifications, and stability data.

Content and Expertise of Medical Writing and CMC Wrirting

  • Medical Writing: Medical writers are experts in clinical research, pharmacology, and regulatory requirements. They communicate clinical trial data and findings, ensuring accuracy and compliance with regulatory guidelines. They may also draft documents for interactions with health authorities.
  • CMC Writing: CMC writers are specialists in pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry, and manufacturing processes. They focus on providing detailed information about drug substance, drug product, manufacturing methods, specifications, and stability studies. They work closely with quality assurance and production teams to ensure compliance with good manufacturing practices (GMP).

Regulatory Compliance of Medical Writing and CMC Writing

  • Medical Writing: Medical writers play a crucial role in ensuring that clinical documents meet regulatory standards and guidelines, such as those from the International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH). They help in the preparation of documents that support regulatory submissions.
  • CMC Writing: CMC writers focus on regulatory compliance related to drug manufacturing and quality control. They help create documents that demonstrate the consistency and safety of the drug product throughout its lifecycle.

Lifecycle Stage of Medical Writing and CMC Writing

  • Medical Writing: Medical writing is more concentrated on the early and later clinical development stages of a drug. It includes documents for clinical trials, regulatory submissions, and post-marketing studies.
  • CMC Writing: CMC writing is prominent throughout the entire drug development lifecycle, from early development through manufacturing and post-approval, as it deals with the manufacturing processes and quality control.


Let’s conclude. While both medical writing and CMC writing are essential in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies, they serve different purposes and require different areas of expertise.

Medical writing focuses on clinical and regulatory documentation, while CMC writing focuses on the chemistry manufacturing controls.

Both are critical for successful drug development and regulatory approval.

Regulatory CMC writing

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