MSL Staff Now Comprise One-Third of Medical Affairs Departments
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwire - May 15, 2008) - Medical affairs groups devote
more staff to medical science liaison (MSL) programs than to any other
medical affairs undertaking, concludes a study released by pharmaceutical
competitive intelligence firm Cutting Edge Information. According to the
study findings, 32% of personnel are MSLs or serve as MSL support, on
average. The study, "Medical Affairs: Delivering Strategic Value,"
examines the staffing and resource levels of companies of all sizes,
including several industry-leading pharma companies
The average medical affairs department houses approximately 35.5 FTEs
(full-time equivalents) in the US alone. Approximately 10 of those staff are
fully devoted to medical science liaison (MSL) programs. Another
significant chunk of medical affairs staff -- 20% -- is devoted to thought
leader programs, while other activities, like medical information efforts,
receive less staffing priority.
Medical affairs departments rely heavily on MSLs and the thought leader
activities they advance. As the primary point of contact between the
company and doctors, MSLs are responsible for several vital functions,
including maintaining and expanding a network of physicians that serve as a
company's thought leaders, jumpstarting investigator-initiated trials and
disseminating accurate product knowledge to the medical community. Often,
MSLs take on additional responsibilities as well, such as organizing
medical education symposia.
"MSLs are invaluable to their medical affairs departments," says Elio
Evangelista, research team leader at Cutting Edge Information. "The fact
that every one in three medical affairs personnel is either an MSL, or
someone who supports an MSL, speaks volumes about their value."
Findings provide benchmarks to help companies improve the efficiency of
their medical affairs efforts. Research covers the following highlights:
-- Surveyed companies' decision-making processes regarding medical
affairs structure and internal alignment
-- The effect of globalization on companies' medical affairs practices
-- Medical affairs departments' sources of funding
-- Benchmarks for spending levels for various medical affairs activities,
such as thought leader development, MSL programs, medical publications,
medical education, medical information, and investigator-initiated trials
-- Measure of impact that various regulations have had on companies'