Source: Cutting Edge Information

Medical Science Liaison Teams Regularly Track 10 or More Key Performance Indicators

Number of Metrics Tracked Increasing in an Effort to Illustrate Performance and Value, According to Cutting Edge Information

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - November 05, 2015) - Because many commercial executives think of value in black-and-white terms, the most popular approach for medical science liaisons (MSLs) to prove their worth to management outside of the medical affairs function is to submit a regular report of trackable metrics. It is not uncommon, therefore, to see MSL managers tracking 10 or more key performance indicators (KPIs). And, according to business intelligence firm Cutting Edge Information, MSL teams in the US are regularly tracking twice as many KPIs as they were in 2012; European teams, 60 percent more.

MSL managers surveyed for a recent study called Capture and Communicate the Full Value of Medical Science Liaisons: Refining Global MSL Strategy with Compelling KPIs find that the KPIs critical for proving value include tracking the number of key opinion leader (KOL) relationships, the number of total KOL interactions and the number of scientific presentations delivered. Other metrics that are deemed helpful to proving value include the number of IIT proposals submitted and the number of publications facilitated.

"Although KPIs are imperative for proving value to external executives, it is important to remember that they only tell half the story of MSL contributions," said Natalie DeMasi, senior research analyst at Cutting Edge Information. "Each metric is an indication of how hard the team is working but not necessarily the value it is contributing to the company. The real value that MSLs bring to the table is found in the interesting bits of information gleaned from their interactions in the field."

MSLs -- and their health outcomes liaison counterparts -- are perhaps the only employees who can echo the voices of each of the most important customers: patients, physicians, payers and pharmacists. This unique perspective means that MSLs would be valuable contributors to a host of strategic decisions ranging from clinical to marketing, market access and beyond.

Capture and Communicate the Full Value of Medical Science Liaisons, available at, provides MSL teams with KPIs they can benchmark against, as well as best practices that top pharmaceutical companies use to demonstrate liaison value to company stakeholders. Other key questions answered by this in-depth benchmarking study include:

  • How exactly do MSL teams justify their existence?
  • How do MSL teams make a case for maintaining or increasing annual budgets?
  • What are some interteam communication strategies between MSLs and sales reps at top companies?
  • What activities should MSLs focus on prior to/post product launch?

To learn more about Cutting Edge Information's medical affairs research, please visit

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