The Top Criteria Life Science Teams Use When Distinguishing Between HOLs and MCLs

In terms of structural alignment, 71% of surveyed pharma companies agreed that HOL teams tend to be more medically driven

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - June 09, 2017) - A new study of more than a dozen life science firms found that 71% of surveyed teams agreed that health outcomes liaison (HOL) teams are more likely to be aligned with medical side of the organization, according to research by business intelligence provider, Cutting Edge Information.

Data from the study, Health Economics Field Forces: Shape World-Class HOL and MCL Teams to Deliver HEOR Data, reveal that in contrast to HOL teams, 45% of surveyed managed care liaison (MCL) teams are typically commercially driven. The structural alignment of MCL teams indicates why so few managed care liaisons meet with healthcare providers (HCPs).

"As the healthcare industry shifts from volume-based to value-based decision-making, health economics data can make or break a product's success," said Natalie DeMasi, research team leader at Cutting Edge Information. "Because of this trend, the types of field forces delivering health economics messages are ever more critical."

Additional criteria life science teams use when distinguishing between HOLs and MCLs include target audience and product responsibility. Surveyed Top 10, Top 50, and small pharmaceutical and biotech companies report different target stakeholders for health economics data.

Survey data indicate that in general, MCLs are more likely to target population health-decision makers only – including payers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). HOLs, on the other hand, tend to meet with both population health decision-makers and healthcare providers (HCPs), suggesting that HOLs may have a stronger medical focus than MCLs.

In line with the medical focus, HOLs often have a narrower scope of product responsibility – with 43% supporting a single therapeutic area. If the field force disseminates both clinical and health economics data, it may be too much for HOLs to support numerous products.

Conversely, 64% of surveyed MCL teams have broader knowledge about health economics data – otherwise, it would be very difficult to support a vast amount of therapeutic areas.

Health Economics Field Forces: Shape World-Class HOL and MCL Teams to Deliver HEOR Data, available at, includes benchmarks and innovative approaches for establishing and improving health economics (HE) field forces – such as HOL teams, MCL teams or hybrid MSL roles. This report is a decision support tool for health economics teams and medical affairs executives seeking to implement or improve HE field forces' role in delivering data to healthcare stakeholders.

This report is designed to help executives:

  • Discover industry trends and insights into new approaches for ideal HOL and MCL team structures
  • Use real-life profiles to compare field force activities and strategies from other life science companies to help teams optimize their operations
  • Benchmark hiring and training best practices for health economics field forces
  • Determine resource allocation, such as team size and budget allocation

For more information on Cutting Edge Information's medical affairs research, please visit

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Elio Evangelista
Senior Director, Commercialization
Cutting Edge Information

HOL teams, MCL teams, health outcomes liaison teams, managed care liaison teams