No thought leader management team is complete without a process for medical science liaison training. Medical science liaisons (MSLs) tweak their knowledge and practices in response to constantly evolving compliance regulations and continuous clinical research. But, MSLs don’t go it alone. Companies offer MSLs training to help them keep up with the latest regulations and research. Perhaps most importantly, medical science liaison training allows a company to standardize MSL processes across its widespread teams. Continue reading
It’s no secret that our communication practices continually evolve to match our communication capabilities. Why write a letter when you can make a phone call? Or call when you can send an email or text message? Why not use any number of social channels to reach out to, not just people you know, but the companies that you support? Medical information teams must now take on the daunting task of meeting customers — both patients and physicians — where they operate, while still remaining compliant.
Many pharma companies’ medical information teams receive requests via a number of different channels, including telephone, email, social media and fax. Physicians may also submit inquiries through intermediaries such as sales reps and medical science liaisons (MSLs). While traditional channels — telephone and reps — remain prominent, digital channels are gaining traction. One interviewed call center manager noted, “I’d say that just as recently as 3 or 4 years ago, three-fourths of our medical inquiries came in on fax or letter or phone call. Now I’d say that over two-thirds come in by email.” Continue reading
The MSL role should be an easy to define. But if that’s the case, why do MSL titles vary so widely across the pharmaceutical industry? Besides medical science liaisons, there are also regional medical liaisons, clinical science liaisons and regional scientific liaisons. Independent of their actual title, they all perform the same essential duties — bridging the gap between pharmaceutical companies and the medical community. On the surface, the definition of an MSL is quite logical; however, once you take into account all of the typical responsibilities, the MSL role begins to look quite complex. Continue reading
Within the life sciences industry, medical publications groups are tasked with a critical responsibility: sharing company findings and new scientific brand support details with the healthcare community. To ensure that these key medical communications groups are working efficiently, companies should provide them with the resources needed to meet demands. Whether teams are responsible for 5 or 500 publications per year, companies should right-size the staffing and budgets allocated to these efforts. They should also consider company structure. Cutting Edge Information’s recent study on medical publications departments highlights how top-performing pharmaceutical and device organizations resource and measure performance across various high- and low-output team structures. Continue reading
Call centers are big business and very important communication tools for pharma companies. US call center budgets can top $4 million a year and medical information managers should take care to monitor pharma call center performance metrics closely. The first step is to decide which call center metrics are most important to your company. Continue reading
At a recent conference I attended focused on pharma advisory boards, one of the presentations focused on KOL relationships and best practices for maintaining effective contact with thought leaders. One of the key takeaways for me in terms of pharma key opinion leader development was the need to ensure that there is a personal touch to communications. This corroborated a lot of what we’ve seen here in our research at Cutting Edge Information. Continue reading
Ad boards – and the related issue of ad board costs – are growing areas of interest in the life sciences industry. A sampling of companies surveyed by Cutting Edge Information recently reported their spending for an average pharmaceutical ad board conducted in the US. Among surveyed companies, the average multinational clinical ad board convened in the US costs $129,000. A US national clinical ad board costs these same companies an average of $78,000 while a local ad board costs an average of $36,000. Continue reading
A theme that emerged at World Congress Second Annual Summit on The Evolving Role of Medical Affairs and Thought Leader Engagement in an Era of Transparency, held in Philadelphia from May 20 to 21, is that medical affairs teams face universal challenges — regardless of whether they’re housed within large Top 50 drug makers, small specialty biotechs or medical device companies. The greatest challenge to these teams is not necessarily the effects of new transparency regulations, but rather, the same internal obstacle that these teams have faced for decades: how to prove their value to senior leadership. Many speakers sounded a common connection: the ties between medical affairs and patient care are where the department can best show its value.
The presentations delivered by some of the industry’s most experienced medical affairs leaders highlighted several key themes that underscore common challenges Continue reading
When it comes to managing and nurturing thought leader relationships and specifically the process of identifying key opinion leaders, companies have several options. Many choose to outsource the identification process and contact KOLs once they’ve been identified by the third-party vendor. For larger and mid-sized companies that are looking to expand into new therapeutic areas or geographic regions, vendors provide an extremely valuable and effective service. Continue reading
Over the years, pharmaceutical companies’ digital marketing activities have enabled them to adopt a different approach to reaching patients, caregivers and physicians alike. Beyond direct-to-consumer television ads and email sends, many organizations have branched out to incorporate new channels within their existing marketing strategies. To be certain, companies have developed a number of innovative branded and unbranded pharma digital marketing solutions using a multitude of platforms. For example, companies have launched Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and YouTube channels geared toward specific audiences as a means to generate campaign awareness and promote consumer education. However, with the growth of the technological age and digital capabilities, correcting misinformation can be just as much of a challenge as disseminating company and product information. Continue reading