Global Pharmas in Disagreement about Medical Education Budgets

By Natalie DeMasi,
Research Analyst

Medical education has been and continues to be a critical segment of a medical affairs team’s mission.  However, the jury is still out in regard to how much time and money a company should devote to it.

In the global medical affairs arena, the number of medical education FTEs ranges from 0 to 5, with no consistent pattern among Top 20, medium-sized and small companies (Figure 1 ).  Among surveyed small companies, one dedicates 5 FTEs to medical education, the highest number for those surveyed.  Another small company has Continue reading

Product Launch: A Busy Time for Medical Affairs Teams

Marketing and commercial teams get a lot of the credit for a successful product launch, but medical affairs teams are typically buzzing with activity in the months (sometimes even years) preceding drug approval.  As the official communication channel between a pharmaceutical company and the scientific community, the medical affairs department plays a critical role in successful product launches.  Each of the medical affairs subfunctions plays its own unique part to play to properly support a new drug. Continue reading

Asia and the Medical Affairs Function

Regardless of company size, establishing operations to support expansions in new territories has a big impact on existing organizational structures.  The question often rests on how the subsidiary will be connected to the headquarters. Will it be a centralized or decentralized operation? How independent does this operation need to be based on distance, time zone, cultural aspects, size and/or budget? Mix these factors, in addition to regional capabilities, and headaches will result for even the most experienced executives. Continue reading

Medical Publications Teams Worthy of Funding

With tightening restrictions on how marketing and sales reps can interact with physicians, medical publication has become a vital task for communicating clinical information from drug companies to physicians. While publications help companies reach anywhere from tens to thousands of physicians depending on the journal, the fact that medical publication teams need to avoid using commercial measures prevents them from utilizing traditional return on investment metrics. Unfortunately, those are the numbers that senior executives typically know how to weigh the best. Even so, many medical publications teams have been able to create strategies through both hard and soft metrics to effectively measure performance and gain management buy-in. Continue reading

Industry Adopting KOL Feedback Surveys as a Primary Means of Measuring MSL Performance

Recent research reveals that thought leader feedback surveys have become a standard means of the Medical Affairs and Medical Science Liaison performance measurement, a trend that has experienced tremendous growth in just a few years. Research shows that overall, 58% of companies use KOL feedback surveys. Top 50 companies employ these surveys 78% of the time, according to survey data, and 56% of Top 20 companies now use them. 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

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

Medical writing tops outsourcing list for medical publications teams

When it comes to drafting new journal articles, drug companies frequently outsource medical writing to experts. In days gone by, drug companies staffed teams of in-house medical writers to prepare new publications. These in-house specialists were top-notch experts in identifying where to get clinical data and how to organize and concisely communicate clinical findings. Continue reading

New Data: 29 Percent of Companies House HEOR within Medical Affairs

Health economics and outcomes research is often more scientifically focused than other market access-related functions. As a result, some companies have separated HEOR from pricing and reimbursement. Figure 1 below shows that 29 percent of companies now house HEOR under medical affairs, away from the more commercially oriented pricing and reimbursement functions. When Cutting Edge Information last surveyed HEOR teams in 2010, the data showed only 10 percent of companies with this structure. Continue reading

Medical Information Teams Often Double as Corporate Library

By Ryan McGuire,
Senior Research Analyst

As their name suggests, medical information teams are charged with organizing and understanding pharmaceutical companies’ referenced clinical literature. These teams’ handling of companies’ medical literature makes them go-to sources internally for medical requests. The processing of these requests also makes medical information a natural fit for filling the role of, or at least overseeing, library services as well.

In fact, fifty-seven percent of participants taking part in our new study of medical information functions Continue reading