RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwire - May 13, 2008) - Research by pharmaceutical business intelligence firm Cutting Edge Information (CEI) finds that 88% of pharmaceutical companies' medical science liaisons (MSL) groups report to medical affairs. The report, "The Changing MSL Role: Proving Value through Performance Measurement," examines MSL structures, investments and strategies.

Broken down by company size, CEI data also shows that 100% of surveyed large companies' MSL groups now report to medical affairs rather than to a commercial function. These findings show a marked change from CEI's previous study on MSLs in 2005. The past research found that only 50% of large companies' groups reported to medical affairs, compared with 67% at small companies and 60% at mid-sized companies. CEI defined large companies as those ranked between 1 and 20, according to Pharmaceutical Executive magazine; mid-sized companies were those ranked between 21 and 50; and small companies were ranked outside of the top 50.

Analysts found that small companies responded to the 2003 OIG guidelines more quickly than larger companies; many small companies' MSL groups were formed shortly after the guidelines were established.

"CEI's data reflects an industry-wide trend of pharma companies keeping their marketing and medical functions separate," said Elio Evangelista, lead author of the report. "The change in MSL reporting lines not only helps maintain compliance, but it also helps reinforce the scientific expertise of MSLs. Companies now depend on MSLs to add strategic value in addition to supporting sales."

The report contains 203 pages and was developed from survey and interview data for 30 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Its findings enable companies to maximize their MSLs' value, scientific knowledge and relationship-building skills.

This study covers these key aspects of MSL programs:

--  Structure, Budgets and Staffing
--  MSL Qualifications and Performance Measurement
--  Field Force Strategies and Communication

The report contains 500+ metrics, including the following:

--  MSL program structure by company size
--  Executive leadership by company by team size
--  Breakdowns of thought leader relationships by company size and
    provider category
--  Ratio of MSLs to sales reps

Download a free report summary here:

Report Website:

Contact Information: CONTACT INFORMATION: Elio Evangelista 919-433-0214