MSL-Sales Rep Cooperation, Not Competition, is the Goal

Sales teams and medical science liaisons (MSLs) might be seen as having distinct objectives, but in reality the two groups can work well together for the benefit of the company.  ‘Synergies’ might have become an overused and clichéd business mantra, but in this case the principle holds water.  Sales teams sometimes feel threatened by the decline in numbers in their ranks while MSL groups continue to grow, though modestly.  This tension is sometimes complicated by organizational firewalls erected between commercial and medical groups that can stifle effective communication. Continue reading



Understanding the Importance of Mobile Health for Pharma

Mobile health (mHealth) may be the buzzword of today, but this one will not be just another flash in the pan. The importance of Mobile health is that it offers the life sciences industry far-reaching capabilities to connect with various stakeholders – from patients and caregivers to physicians and pharmacists. This connectivity makes mobile health a valuable tool not likely to be dispensed with anytime soon. Projections show the mobile health industry increasing dramatically: research2guidance found that the global smartphone mHealth app market increased by a factor of 7 from 2010 to 2011, reaching $718 million (USD). This growth is predicted to continue. PwC India projects that the mHealth market will be worth $23 billion by 2017. So what is it about mHealth that is going to fundamentally change healthcare? Continue reading


MSL-KOL Relationships: Average Span of Control is 46


By Elio Evangelista,
Director of Research

As two of the major roles of medical science liaisons (MSLs), identifying influential physicians and building relationships with those thought leaders occupy more time than other activities. The actual amount of time an MSL can dedicate to each of his or her MSL-KOL relationships is of course tied to the number of key opinion leaders (KOLs) each liaison must manage. The average ratio in 2012 is 46 KOLs per MSL, according to early analysis of data from our current study of MSL team management and performance measurement. Continue reading


Physician Payment Disclosures and FMV Going Strong Despite Sunshine Act Delays


By Elio Evangelista,
Director of Research

The United States is still waiting for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to issue its final ruling on how it will implement the physician payment disclosures rules outlined in the Sunshine Act. However, this has not deterred companies from continuing to make public disclosures or caused them to lose focus on determining fair-market value (FMV) physician fee schedules.

Initially, CMS was scheduled to give a ruling to drug and device manufacturers in October 2011. But the agency Continue reading



FMV Benchmarking Service Provides KOL Compensation Data for More Than 100 Countries

Our newly updated FMV Benchmarking service now provides medical, scientific and regulatory staff at life sciences companies with fair-market value benchmarks for thought leaders and influential physicians in more than 100 countries. The service is built upon a decade of detailed key opinion leader management research and the Research and Consulting teams’ expertise in FMV benchmarking and developing physician fee schedules. Continue reading



Extended Sunshine Act deadline provides extra time to track and report physician payments

Six Tips to Help Build the Ideal Thought Leader Database

As the industry awaits the release of the delayed Sunshine Act guidelines, pharmaceutical and medical device companies are benefiting from the extra time by reviewing current physician payment reporting structures and tightening their documentation procedures. “Every company, no matter how large or small, needs a tracking and reporting system capable of handling all of the Sunshine Act’s requirements now,” said Elio Evangelista, director of research at Cutting Edge Information. “The largest companiesare ahead of the pack. Most already have sophisticated databases in place, as well as the IT infrastructure and personnel to support the documentation requirements.”

Cutting Edge Information’s report, “KOL Fair-Market Value and Aggregate Spend,” serves as a guidebook to companies working to comply with the reporting requirements of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act while meeting the needs of physicians and internal stakeholders. Based on interviews conducted with medical affairs executives across the industry, Cutting Edge Information recommends the following fundamentals when constructing a KOL database:

  1. Include fields for all information required by the Sunshine Act – Each entry must have fields to enter name, company, Medicare billing number, service provided, physician compensation and other reimbursed expenses (including travel, hotel, and food).
  2. Design strong report-building capabilities – The more sophisticated the database’s query building and report-generating capabilities are, the less work companies will have to do on the back end.
  3. Establish a centralized location – Centrally located databases are more reliable for preventing duplicated efforts and data loss.
  4. Create multiple access points with differing levels of clearance – Some employees may need the ability to enter new information into the database, but not everyone needs to alter information.
  5. Create a built-in system to verify data – It is always easier to handle mistakes internally than to have external agencies point them out.
  6. Include links to, or archive, thought leader deliverables – An easily traceable copy of the thought leader’s deliverable provides undisputable proof that a service has been rendered.

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Medical publications teams: Real estate agents for medical journal selection

This is the first blog entry in a two-part series on medical journal selection.

By Ryan McGuire,
Senior Research Analyst

Evaluating the medical journal landscape is the first step toward making sure manuscripts find their way to the appropriate home. In fact, the journal selection process contains many similarities to a real estate search. The old real estate adage of location, location, location also holds true with journal selection. To ensure that a manuscript is read by the target audience it must be submitted to the correct forum. Continue reading