Medical Publications Teams Worthy of Funding

With tightening restrictions on how marketing and sales reps can interact with physicians, medical publication has become a vital task for communicating clinical information from drug companies to physicians. While publications help companies reach anywhere from tens to thousands of physicians depending on the journal, the fact that medical publication teams need to avoid using commercial measures prevents them from utilizing traditional return on investment metrics. Unfortunately, those are the numbers that senior executives typically know how to weigh the best. Even so, many medical publications teams have been able to create strategies through both hard and soft metrics to effectively measure performance and gain management buy-in. Continue reading


Price Accountability Comes to Sales Reps via Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) ride through legislative and judicial hurdles has focused on the high profile aspects of the law including the insurance mandate and state Medicaid responsibilities.  However, one part of the law that will have a major impact on both patients and pharmaceutical sales forces is the establishment of accountable care organizations (ACOs) that bring physicians, hospitals and pharmacies together to create a more cohesive healthcare package for patients.  This means that doctors would be made aware of potentially conflicting medications a patient may already be taking and be able to recommend a less risky course of a treatment and introduce a level of price accountability for sales reps. Continue reading


Proactive MSL Strategy Promotes Engaging Thought Leaders Early

As pharmaceutical companies expand their MSL functions worldwide, companies are placing additional emphasis on thought leader identification.  Identifying potential new thought leaders has always been a point of emphasis, but it has certainly increased in the last few years — in fact, a recent Cutting Edge Information report indicates that MSL teams allocate more than 40% of their time to thought leadership management activities. Continue reading


Applications in Diagnostic Radiology for Physician-Facing Mobile Health Initiatives

The game has changed for many medical fields as digital technology has overtaken the world’s storage and communication systems.  Recently, I wrote about mobile health applications targeting patients through adherence programs.  But it turns out that physicians are at least equally critical end users of mobile health initiatives.  One such application that technology companies have explored is a system that optimizes access and manipulation of diagnostic images to help radiologists work faster and smoother.  New innovations in this area not only make physicians’ work easier, but also add an element of patient safety that had not previously existed. Continue reading


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

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

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

Elio Evangelista, physician fair-market value expert
By Elio Evangelista,
Senior Director

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

Elio Evangelista, physician fair-market value expert
By Elio Evangelista,
Senior Director

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