RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - November 05, 2014) - A new study from Cutting Edge Information found that 71% of pharmaceutical companies' managed markets teams involve medical science liaisons (MSLs) to work with payers. Private and government payers in the US are beginning to ask companies for more health-economics based data and MSLs -- along with health outcomes liaisons (HOLs) and managed care liaisons (MCLs) -- are perfectly suited to provide that information.

The report, "Managed Markets Account Managers: Fortify Payer Relationships to Secure Product Profitability," found that managed markets groups have recognized the need to include those with extensive health economics understanding to make the best possible case to payers. Alongside MSLs, 43% of companies use HOLs and 29% use MCLs in a similar support capacity.

This shift reflects evolution in both the managed markets role as well as the liaison role. While some companies have dedicated HOL groups that specialize in health outcomes and addressing payer concerns, smaller companies will often turn to existing MSLs to provide that knowledge.

"For some companies, it is important that the managed markets account manager is always the one making a case directly to the payer so the MSL role is mainly to train account managers in how to present the data," says Jacob Presson, senior analyst at Cutting Edge Information. "On the other hand, at many companies MSLs have direct contact with targets."

The study finds that the best approach for companies is to emphasize the role of the account manager by providing them with as much training and information as possible on health economics issues. MSLs are best used when their specialized expertise is required to discuss clinical data or support a presentation.

"Managed Markets Account Managers: Fortify Payer Relationships to Secure Product Profitability," available at, guides managed markets teams to succeed by emphasizing payers' needs and working through account managers to meet those needs. The report's analysis examines the kind of information most valuable for account managers to present, how information should be presented and their primary targets for meetings. The report's highlights include:

  • Data and diagrams showing reporting relationships and managed markets group structures
  • Benchmarks on managed markets account manager budgets and spending 
  • Strategic recommendations and benchmarks for improving communication and relationship-building with payers 

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Elio Evangelista