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Medical Affairs - Research & Consulting

The medical affairs function continues to evolve and to adopt a more collaborative role with companies’ research and commercial functions. At the same time, it must remain vigilant in its compliance with regulatory guidelines.

Providing healthcare professionals, key opinion leaders and payer groups with critical medical and scientific information and education, the function not only enhances a company’s scientific reputation, it also complements the work of Research & Development – all the while communicating the value of a company’s products and services.

While the expansion of responsibilities has made Medical Affairs a pivotal function globally, it still faces the daunting challenge of quantifying its value internally, while still meeting the growing demands brought on by the multiple facets of its role. Medical Affairs leaders wrestle with how best to serve thought leaders, coordinate Medical Science Liaisons, prepare compelling scientific publications, communicate Health Outcomes and cutting-edge science conducted by the company, and at the same time demonstrate value to internal stakeholders.

Thus, medical affairs groups across both mature and emerging markets are seeking ways to optimize their activities and develop reporting formats and metrics that can demonstrate value to senior management.

Our Role in Supporting Medical Affairs

Best Practices, LLC’s Research & Consulting services provide medical affairs leaders with the expertise and intelligence needed to address many of the aforementioned challenges, while also helping to develop and to cultivate processes to create a best-in-class Medical Affairs organization at the global and local level. Our experienced consultants provide insight and access to key benchmarks and best practices that:

  • Drive efficiency and performance by refining global medical affairs strategy, structure, staffing, budget, spend, activity and performance measures
  • Improve productivity and effectiveness through benchmarking key services, processes, systems and initiatives
  • Highlight upcoming medical affairs trends, key challenges and lessons learned

Our research and consulting service has worked with industry leaders and benchmarked organizations across global markets to address key medical affairs topics, including:

  • Medical Affairs Globalization
  • Health Economics/Outcomes
  • Thought Leader (KOL) Relationship Management
  • Medical Science Liaisons
  • Scientific Publications
  • Medical Education

Executives seeking strategic guidance and insights related to the aforementioned topics will benefit from our Research and Consulting service. 

James Drake

James Drake

Vice President, Medical Affairs Practice

For over a decade, James has helped client organizations use digital strategies to drive innovation and achieve better efficiency on both the medical and commercial sides of pharma. His key expertise areas include market research, competitive intelligence, brand marketing, field medical excellence and market access.

Phone: (603) 410-3929

Schedule a Meeting

  • Featured Research

Medical Affairs’ Role in Ensuring Excellence in Product Launch

Medical Affairs Role in Launch Activities

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In today’s evolving marketplace, Medical Affairs plays an important role in product launch. For this reason, successful product launches require a growing level of involvement from this function from pre-launch phase to well beyond market entry.

The Best Practices, LLC research reveals that Medical Affairs teams lead two key launch activities -- Scientific Publications and MSL activities at 93% of participating companies. Other activities include leading advisory boards and investigator & site identification.

The study identifies the best practices and lessons learned in how Medical Affairs successfully supports launches. Leaders can use the insights from this study as a reference point for creating value-based and science-driven launch strategies.

Optimizing Key Opinion Leader Relationships: Best Practices in KOL Management

Drivers of KOL Management

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Restricted market access and crowded therapeutic areas have made it difficult for organizations to effectively engage thought leaders (KOLs) nowadays.

An understanding of the important drivers of KOL management can help companies to build stronger thought leader relationships.

Recent research conducted by Best Practices, LLC reveals that degree of Thought Leader support required to change current treatment approach is the most important driver of KOL management for 70% of benchmark class. The study benchmarks the organizational structures, management strategies, activities, tools and tactics associated with excellence in KOL management.

Medical Affairs’ Role in Health Economics & Outcomes Research within Oncology

Field-Based Health Outcomes Responsibilities

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The growing emphasis on positive health outcomes by payers and consumers has compelled pharmaceutical companies to enhance their health outcomes data generation and utilization. As such, Medical Affairs has ramped up its role in health outcomes (HO) information exchanges.

In order to build robust outcomes capabilities, many organizations have begun improving their field-based capabilities around outcomes, as well as customizing outcomes data for different stakeholders.

According to Best Practices, LLC’s benchmarking research; Health Outcomes groups have multi-dimensional field-based responsibilities. The field-based team provides scientific, medical, and pharmaco-economic support to customers and brings back feedback that can improve products. The study provides best practices and insights around developing effective Health Outcomes groups for organizations.

Professional Medical Education Excellence: Structures, Resources, Services & Performance Levels to Optimize Pharmaceutical Education Groups

Pharmaceutical Medical Education Budgets Segment

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Professional medical education is a valuable platform for the biopharmaceutical industry to inform key healthcare professionals about the latest developments. However, growing regulatory scrutiny and increasingly crowded therapeutic areas have made it necessary for biopharmaceutical companies to reassess their approach to conducting medical education.

Critical elements for optimizing medical education capabilities include: structure and activities of the medical education function, effective medical education staffing levels, role of medical education group in important activities (including involvement with thought leaders and professional societies) and allocation of resources by region and program type.

According to Best Practices, LLC’s benchmarking study, education grants and programs make up most of the Medical Education budgets in pharma. With fewer FTEs allocated to medical education, the percentage of budget dedicated to staff is less.

The related study evaluates a broad range of medical education factors, and provides benchmarks around staffing, budget, services, structures and investments for medical education. Additionally, the report presents current and future trends and direction of medical education for field-based medical educators.

Building Best-in-Class Medical Affairs Capabilities In India – a Case Study For High-Growth Emerging Markets

Importance of Medical Affairs Functions

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In emerging markets like India, the Medical Affairs function continues evolving as groups demonstrate their value to key internal stakeholders.

The accompanying slide from Best Practices, LLC’s case study highlights the importance of different Medical Affairs functions in an organization’s success. 74% of participating Indian companies consider Medical Science liaisons to be important for an organization’s success, while 67% spotlight Outcomes Research to be gaining significance.

This Best Practices, LLC report analyzes how leading global and Indian biopharmaceutical and medical device companies structure and organize their Medical Affairs groups. The study provides benchmarks around leadership, spend allocation, staffing, budget, regulatory requirements and functional responsibility.