Pharma Companies Prefer Not to Outsource Call Center Staff, New Study Finds

Data show in-house medical information staff have more appeal for life science firms

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - August 29, 2017) - A new study found that medical affairs teams prefer to rely on in-house rather than outsourced medical information full-time equivalents (FTEs), according to business intelligence provider Cutting Edge Information.

The study, Optimizing Medical Information Call Centers, found that many medical affairs teams agree that not only is it easier to communicate new information about products to in-house staff, but they are also easier to manage for quality control.

Data collected and analyzed by Cutting Edge Information show that two years leading up to launch, surveyed medical affairs teams rely entirely on in-house medical information FTEs. During launch year, however, the study found that half (50%) of all surveyed teams outsource medical information staff.

"Outsourced medical information staff can be difficult to audit for performance because they are outside the company's scope," said Natalie DeMasi, research team leader at Cutting Edge Information. "Although some teams avoid this risk for as long as possible, many medical affairs teams rely on outsourced staff to help manage large quantities of inquiries when inhouse staff become overwhelmed."

Despite outsourcing not always being ideal, many companies go this route when in-house medical information teams grow strained by heavy streams of inquiries. Data from the study suggest that more medical information teams utilize outsourced staff during (50%) and after (40%) launch year, when the number of medical inquiries is highest.

Optimizing Medical Information Call Centers, available online at, examines:

  • Medical information team budgets & staffing levels across product lifecycle stages
  • How teams adjust these levels to meet call center workload
  • Under what conditions medical information staff are most commonly outsourced
  • Patterns in total numbers of inquiries (a common indicator used to monitor call center performance) received by medical information teams

Optimizing Medical Information Call Centers is part of a 10-part series that Cutting Edge Information will be publishing throughout 2017. The Medical Affairs Product Launch Series, available at, investigates how medical affairs resources and key performance indicators (KPIs) shift between two years prior to launch, one year before launch, launch year and during the product's first year on market.

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Contact Information:

Elio Evangelista
Senior Director of Commercialization
Cutting Edge Information

medical affairs, call center staffing, medical information