Global medical affairs teams come in all shapes and sizes — some comprise a large percentage of pharma staffing, and others a small percentage. In many cases, the size of a medical affairs team will reflect not only the company’s resources but also its product portfolio. For instance, companies with mostly early-stage investigational products may not need a large medical affairs force. Conversely, companies with constant product launches will benefit from a robust team.
Already, many countries have established physician payment disclosureregulations that require companies to publish any exchanges of value that take place between healthcare practitioners (HCPs) and themselves. In some cases—as with the Loi Bertrand in France—these regulations may also extend to other members of the healthcare community. Beyond HCPs, the Loi Bertrand also covers audiences such as pharmacists, nurses and professional medical associations.
Teams have a variety of options when conducting a post-marketing study, and these options only increase as researchers continue to innovate new trial designs beyond the standard randomized controlled trial (RCT). For instance, teams may decide to collect real-world data with observational cohort studies. Others may want to directly compare two competing treatments with crossover studies. Alternatively, study teams may try to collect near real-world data with pragmatic RCTs.
Pharma key account management (KAM) teams focus on strengthening relationships with existing client accounts and forging new ones. As an example, these teams may reach out to hospital systems to determine which products these organizations use (or would be interested in trying). Some life science teams designate specific KAM groups to handle commercial and market access account types. Others make no distinction across the different audiences that dedicated KAM teams may serve.
Medical affairs is on the front lines of a product launch. During this crucial launch window, medical information and communication teams are responsible for raising awareness, educating stakeholders and generally laying the groundwork for the product’s success in the healthcare community. These tasks make medical affairs launch planning a cornerstone of product success. However, medical affairs teams are only as effective as their planning and preparation, as poor timing or a sub-par strategy can diminish their impact. Continue reading
The number of products medical affairs teams support varies widely. Some medical affairs teams focus on only one or two products while others support a couple hundred. The difference may depend on the company’s overall portfolio and the way in which they divide their products among different medical affairs teams – like if teams are structured by therapeutic area. Continue reading
The role of pharma key account management (KAM) is growing. Throughout the life sciences industry, KAMs act as the voice of the company for major commercial accounts – including physician networks, hospital systems and even payer organizations. Because a large part of the key account management team role is working directly with these accounts, KAMs may also need to coordinate their visits and discussion topics with other outward-facing teams across the organizations. In fact, many companies would prefer that KAMs act in a strategic role to shape the organization’s account communication. Continue reading
Medical science liaisons (MSLs) are the company’s messengers, spreading the word about new data to all the corners of the healthcare industry. But just how far do those corners extend? It goes without saying that most companies won’t invest MSL resources in regions where there are few healthcare providers (HCPs) to interact with. However, companies are busy establishing large MSL teams in new areas with flourishing healthcare industries. Continue reading
Medical affairs teams have made great strides in gaining recognition within life sciences companies. But, for some, the battle is not over as proving value to upper management continues to be difficult. There are three main avenues teams can pursue to demonstrate value: Continue reading
Investigator-initiated trials (IITs) are one of the pillars of company-thought leader interactions and trust-building. Alongside company-sponsored Phase 4 studies and collaborative research, IITs are an integral part of a product’s continuing research. Plus, they foster corporate goodwill and relationships with key opinion leaders (KOLs). As such, companies should not be stingy in resourcing investigator-initiated trial teams. Continue reading