Balance Geographic Responsibilities to Strengthen Pharmaceutical Call Center Structure

Victoria Cavicchi, pharmaceutical medical affairs researcher
By Victoria Cavicchi,
Research Analyst

As life sciences companies cultivate a more global reach, the medical information function must also grow to span worldwide operations.  For many companies, this means maintaining a number of medical information groups — including both a global function and localized teams, in addition to a more established call center system. The ways in which these global, regional and country-level teams work together drive team activities and also determine pharmaceutical call center structure. Continue reading


Six Steps to Hosting a Successful Pharmaceutical Advisory Board

Generations of hopeful party planners and anxious hostesses have turned to Emily Post as the authority on all things etiquette. Her gentle but firm guidelines on manners and social norms may seem more appropriate for old-fashioned ladies throwing summer soirees or bridal luncheons than they do for high-powered life science industry executives who are delving into the latest clinical research or marketing strategies. Although pharmaceutical companies specialize in developing innovative cures, looking back to the traditional truths of hosting etiquette lends value to advisory boards. Here is a look at successful pharmaceutical advisory board management through the lens of the Emily Post Institute’s Six Ways to Be a Good Host. Continue reading


Medical Affairs Team Structure: Centralized or Decentralized?

A medical affairs team’s structure is contingent on a number of determining factors.  The growing complexity of the compliance requirements that pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies must adhere to has greatly impacted their organizational structures, particularly in medical affairs.  But companies must also weigh their portfolio needs in their decisions about how to structure teams.  Furthermore, how the medical affairs team interacts with other parts of the organization impacts reporting relationships and group responsibilities. Continue reading


Driving KOL Engagement Efficiency through Physician-Interaction Databases

Cutting Edge Information recently conducted research among pharmaceutical medical affairs groups that looked at physician-interaction database ownership.  The research revealed that ownership of these databases varies among the surveyed companies.  Global groups at 60% of companies report responsibility for these internal databases.  Companies that do not report global groups’ responsibility for an internal database (40%) may consider their use of Excel spreadsheets or Outlook to track physician interactions as internal database.  Other global medical affairs teams allow country-level groups to document physician interactions according to local regulations.  Still other companies may be in the process of either developing a new database platform or transitioning from an existing one. Continue reading


Global Pressures = Pricing Challenges

Over the past few years, political, social and economic upheavals worldwide have thrust change on the life sciences landscape — and forced pricing teams to work overtime.  Today, these teams must deal with a series of events and trends that each have some effect on business operations, like increased focus on comparative effectiveness and the implementation of the US health reform. Continue reading


I want THAT price: Understanding the Rationale Behind International Price Referencing

Growing up, siblings have an unspoken rule that  if one received something or was allowed to do something that another wasn’t, instantly, life became “unfair” for the other party.  The smaller the age differential between the siblings, the more unfair the perceived slight.  Ultimately, any attempt toward corrective actions was conceived in “the name of fairness.”  The same rules apply to pharma, especially with respect to global market access considerations.  The difference is that companies are looking beyond markets of similar size and structure.  Continue reading


Medical Science Liaison Teams Expanding in Europe and Asia

A recent study on medical science liaison (MSL) teams analyzes the global expansion of this key slice of medical affairs operations. Until recently, pharmaceutical and medical device companies have largely focused their MSL teams on the US market, with a small proportion targeted to Europe and even less to Asia. Cutting Edge Information analysts found that since 2010, the industry has seen a rapid increase in the number of companies reporting MSL presence in Europe and Asia: 67% have MSL teams in Europe, up from 41% in 2010, and 21% have teams in Asia, up from only 7%. Continue reading


Wanted: Experienced Regulatory Affairs Personnel

Our recent research suggests intensifying competition among pharmaceutical companies for capable regulatory affairs employees. In fact, experienced regulatory affairs personnel can be counted as a white hot commodity right now. Executives that I have talked with at pharma companies said that hiring experienced regulatory affairs people is important for a number of reasons beyond simply understanding the process and how to fill out the correct documentation. Continue reading


Moving Toward Health Outcomes Liaisons: Comparison of MSL and HOL Compensation Reflects an Industry Shift

Traditionally, health outcomes liaisons (HOLs) and medical science liaisons (MSLs) represent two different areas of expertise. Both jobs serve an important role: to provide an educational connection between industry leaders and key stakeholders. The former serves as an ambassador between clinical trial groups and payer groups. The latter typically deals exclusively with clinical trials and serves as a clinical information provider to key opinion leaders. In recent years Continue reading


The Global Expansion of Medical Science Liaisons

Significant changes to medical science liaisons’ roles and expectations in the past 15 years have underscored the value MSLs bring to their organizations. MSLs not only provide access to highly influential physicians and medical researchers, but they also bring exposure to key healthcare decision-making bodies, such as payers. Our latest research into MSL operations found that the payers’ role in healthcare decisions is one factor fueling MSLs’ global expansion. Continue reading