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



Medical Advisory Boards: Refreshing Companies Clinical, Marketing and Market Access Strategies, One Meeting at a Time

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

Medical advisory boards take a number of forms across life science companies clinical, marketing and market access teams.  Although recent legislature limits how companies interact with the physicians and other key opinion leaders (KOLs) who most commonly staff these boards, they do not decrease the importance of these institutions. When leveraged appropriately, medical advisory boards — which combine members’ expertise and unique insights — are a huge asset to the industry as a whole. Continue reading


Are You Ready to Optimize Your Medical Publications Department?

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

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



Pharma Key Opinion Leader Development Requires a Personal Touch

Jacob Presson, pharmaceutical market access researcher
By Jacob Presson,
Senior Research Analyst

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