RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwire - January 26, 2011) -  The last decade of Medical Affairs restructuring and growth has driven a shift of responsibility to the regional and local affiliate level, allowing for processes and communication customized for local needs and preferences.

In a newly released study, life sciences executives discussed giving more responsibilities to country-level affiliates to better meet the needs of the global medical community. "In the last ten years companies rose to the challenge of increasing global complexity by investing to ensure departments in key markets were structured for success in changing regulatory environments," said Adam Bianchi, chief operating officer of Cutting Edge Information. 

"The growth of clinical development investment in emerging markets has been a major driver of the need to support growing communities of medical professionals," said Ryan McGuire, project leader for "Medical Affairs: Effective Global Resource Allocation."

"Country-level medical affairs groups participating in the study were responsible for an average of 6.4 of the 11 common subfunctions. U.S.-based medical affairs group are responsible for an average of 8.2 subfunctions," said McGuire.

With a clear Medical Affairs strategy set and coordinated by a global authority, local leaders can ensure effective implementation. "Companies want to create a harmonious global medical strategy," said Bianchi. "To do that, many companies have increased the responsibilities of affiliate groups."

Medical publications and thought leader management are the top subfunctions managed regionally or by country unit with medical information and medical education next most common.

  • Medical Publications - 91%
  • Thought Leader Management - 91%
  • Medical Information - 82%
  • Medical Education - 82%
  • Investigator-Initiated Trials - 73%
  • Medical Grants - 64%
  • Medical Science Liaison Programs - 64%
  • Compliance - 55%
  • Speaker Programs - 55%
  • Regulatory Affairs - 45%
  • Health Economics - 27%

(Medical Affairs breakdown at

Executives participating in the study found Thought Leader Management to be an ideal subfunction for piloting affiliate management. Local personnel are often better able to cultivate key opinion leader (KOL) relationships in their country. Regional medical affairs personnel are often practicing physicians, giving them a firsthand understanding of their colleagues' needs.

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