Medical Science Liaisons: Value Added
Written by Dr Andrea Cowley
Interactions between biopharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals (HCPs) are under increasing scrutiny. New regulations and calls for transparency are making it more difficult for sales representatives to access HCPs.1 1
As the biopharmaceutical industry becomes increasingly patient-centric in their activities, the role of medical affairs is expanding. This has led to a rise in the number of projects initiated and led by medical affairs thus creating a need for field-based medical affairs people who are therapeutic area experts such as medical science liaisons (MSLs). It has been reported that, on average, biopharmaceutical sales representatives spend approximately 2 minutes with HCPs whereas the length of engagement between MSLs and HCPs is around 1 hour.2 2
HCPs benefit from interactions with MSLs
Biopharmaceutical products are becoming more complex due to the development of new technologies such as genomic sequencing. As a result there is an increasing amount of complicated scientific and medical information available.2 2 HCPs, therefore, are demanding more detailed information and educational materials that will help them navigate their way through these new technologies and products.2 2 This is where MSLs are able to provide the most value to HCPs.
As therapy experts, MSLs are able to translate this complex and specialised scientific and medical information into practical insights to improve decision-making, thus delivering value to HCPs and patients. 2 2 Furthermore, MSLs can engage HCPs in high-level discussions that do not simply involve the translation of science but also include the exploration of health outcomes and real-world data.2 2
The dissemination of information and insights through the provision of high-quality educational materials is another way MSLs are able to be of value to KOLs, HCPs, and other stakeholders. 3 3
The value of MSL teams
The role of MSLs extends beyond that of key opinion leader (KOL) relationship management and facilitating the exchange of unbiased scientific information (Figure 1).1,3 1,3 MSLs play a key role in executing medical affairs plans that are in line with the company’s brand plan.
MSLs are able to obtain and share valuable medical insights into patients’ needs and intelligence on competitor products from KOL interactions, scientific conferences and meetings.2,3 2,3 These KOL insights can inform and drive commercial activities and product lifecycle plans. Furthermore, they can be used to help plan and design clinical trials and real world studies, which are increasingly required for demonstrating product value for approvals, reimbursements and access.1,3 1,3
CRC offers a flexible MSL headcount
Our strong expertise in medical affairs across the entire drug development lifecycle allows us to support your product launch by offering flexible and cost-effective MSL resourcing on a per project basis. This allows you to redeploy your resources to where they are needed most. We can leverage off our existing and extensive KOL and stakeholder networks, engage and nurture these relationships, create advocacy and garner valuable insights to help shape and maximise your commercial opportunities. In addition, we can provide innovative medical liaison strategies and assist you with your stakeholder management planning.
Evers, M. et al. Pharma medical affairs 2020 and beyond. (2012)
Groebel, R. Exploring the changing role of modern medical science liaisons. (2015). https://www.veeva.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/AR-Changing-Role-of-Medical-FINAL-8.10.15.pdf
Gupta, S. & Nayak, R. An insight into the emerging role of regional medical advisor in the pharmaceutical industry. Perspectives in Clinical Research 4, 186-190 (2013).