Medical Science Liaisons: The Unsung MVPs of the Life Science Industry

Sarah Ray, regulatory affairs and safety researcher
By Sarah Ray,
Senior Research Analyst

Earlier this summer, the Chicago Blackhawks secured their third Stanley cup in six years.  The win also marked the first time the Blackhawks had won at home since 1938.  Pretty incredible, right?  Well sure, but the team could not have won without top-notch plays by Corey Crawford, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith — and many others.

Basically, just as an NHL team is only as good as its individual members, life science companies’ medical affairs organizations cannot hope to thrive without ample support from talented medical science liaisons (MSLs). Continue reading


Medical Science Liaison Core Activities Don’t Change For Pre- and Post-Launch Stages — But the Time Spent on Them Does

Natalie DeMasi, clinical development and medical affairs researcher
By Natalie DeMasi,
Senior Research Analyst

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Medical science liaisons (MSLs) are one of the superheroes of the life sciences industry.  They fly to the aid of healthcare providers (HCPs) in need of scientific data, and they return to the internal organization with invaluable insights about drug utilization and the patient experience.  These deeds are crucial after a product earns market authorization, but MSL activities are equally as important during pre-launch stages as well.  However, MSL priorities may shift between pre-market and post-launch stages. Continue reading


Trouble Engaging HCPs? Medical Science Liaisons Should Try Hospital Meetings

Natalie DeMasi, clinical development and medical affairs researcher
By Natalie DeMasi,
Senior Research Analyst

Medical science liaisons (MSLs) continually strive to engage healthcare providers (HCPs) in scientific discussions.  These interactions not only benefit HCPs, but they also arm the MSL with invaluable clinical insights.  One-on-one discussions between HCPs and MSLs are a hallmark of MSL activities, but it can sometimes be difficult for MSLs to schedule one-one-one meetings — especially with HCPs they’ve never met before.  Because of this, MSLs may want to supplement these discussions with hospital meetings. Continue reading


Pharmaceutical KOL Disclosure Requirements: Global Transparency Trends

Sarah Ray, regulatory affairs and safety researcher
By Sarah Ray,
Senior Research Analyst

Often, life science companies elect to partner with industry experts or pharmaceutical KOLs to support their medical affairs activities.  However, companies may struggle to determine the appropriate physician fair market value (FMV) rates to provide these external experts.  For industry teams in the US, the knowledge that physician remuneration will become public knowledge — in-line with Sunshine Act reporting requirements — contributes to this perceived challenge.  Continue reading


Proving MSL Team Value: Best Practices from ExL’s MASS East 2015

Natalie DeMasi, clinical development and medical affairs researcher
By Natalie DeMasi,
Research Analyst

Proving value is a constant challenge for medical science liaisons (MSLs).  Like many medical affairs subfunctions, MSL teams are developing key performance metrics (KPIs) to illustrate their productivity levels to senior management.  Some teams begrudge this task, not wishing to condense MSL’s activities to mere numbers that may or may not reflect the quality of their work.  Still, many teams are building robust, outcomes-based, multifactorial KPIs that get closer to the heart of MSL value.  Continue reading


Schedule Regular Medical Publications Meetings to Guide Strategy Creation

Victoria Cavicchi, pharmaceutical social media researcher
By Victoria Cavicchi,
Research Analyst

Medical publications meetings are a key communication channel between the internal functions contributing to medical studies and those responsible for creating and distributing abstracts and posters. Regular communication equips companies with the information necessary to meet publications deadlines and to achieve publication goals. However, companies may look to various meeting frequency depending on team size and goals. Continue reading


Top 3 Criteria for Selecting Investigator Initiated Trials to Fund: Strategy Alignment, Scientific Merit and Strong Investigator Credentials

Natalie DeMasi, clinical development and medical affairs researcher
By Natalie DeMasi,
Research Analyst

There are many different names for investigator sponsored trials (ISTs), such as investigator initiated trials (IITs), investigator sponsored studies (ISS), investigator initiated research (IIR) and a number of other variants of those titles that you can think of.  IITs – or whatever sobriquet you prefer – vary in budget, patient population, phase and research goals even more than they vary in name.  But one thing does not change about investigator sponsored trials: the need to carefully select which trials are worth funding and which ones are not. Continue reading


MSL Strategy: Proactive Vs. Reactive

Ryan McGuire, lifecycle management tactics expert
By Ryan McGuire,
Research Team Leader

Medical science liaison (MSL) strategy is a difficult concept to define.  Much of it seems to boil down into two main schools of thought — proactive MSL strategies versus reactive strategies.  Proactive teams pride themselves on initiating meetings and bringing the latest medical research directly to physicians. On the other hand, reactive teams quickly respond to medical inquiries and other scientific requests. Continue reading


MSLs, KPIs and Value: A Numbers Game That Teams Have to Play

Natalie DeMasi, clinical development and medical affairs researcher
By Natalie DeMasi,
Research Analyst

Medical science liaisons (MSLs) are invaluable to the life science industry.  Through interactions with thought leaders, MSLs build relationships with physicians, gain competitive intelligence, learn prescribing behaviors and bolster the company’s public image.  Unfortunately, not all of upper management understands the value that MSLs bring to the internal organization.  In fact, 63% of surveyed MSL teams struggle to prove value to upper management, according to a new report by Cutting Edge Information. Continue reading