How to Bridge the Medical-Commercial Divide

Posted by Sarah Jarvis on Tue, Apr 09, 2019

John Bienko co-wrote this blog post with Sarah Jarvis. 

Collaboration across field medical teams and commercial sales teams—what’s allowed and what’s not—is a big point of contention in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry today. No wonder, given the spotlight on compliance: since 2008, ZS estimates U.S. pharma companies have been charged $22 billion in fines for improper marketing alone. But there’s more to the collaboration question than just compliance. As we covered in a previous blog, several factors are driving companies to reassess their medical-commercial interaction, including changes in the overall healthcare landscape, increasing ecosystem complexity, and declining commercial sales rep access to physicians. According to ZS’s AccessMonitor™ survey, the percentage of accessible physicians reached by the majority of reps declined from 77% in 2008 to 47% in 2016. In certain specialty areas like oncology, the decline is even steeper: from nearly 77% to 23%. 


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Assessing MSL Effectiveness: A Three-Pronged Strategy

Posted by Sunil John on Mon, Feb 04, 2019

As most of us in pharma know, the medical science liaison (MSL) role is purely scientific, educational and non-promotional, making it difficult for medical and company leadership to assess its performance. Compared to the sales function, companies continue to struggle with developing an assessment plan that can accurately benchmark MSL performance. Many organizations that we have worked with also face challenges in articulating the value of this critical role, and their assessments are qualitative rather than quantitative and results-driven.


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Physicians, Payers and Patients Want Evidence, and Med Affairs Knows How to Deliver

Posted by Pratap Khedkar on Wed, Jan 16, 2019

As the pharmaceutical industry continues to stack up scientific breakthroughs, there’s a growing need for experts within pharma organizations who can articulate deep disease knowledge, link clinical results to outcomes, and demonstrate product value. As luck would have it, a small department that’s well suited to the task has steadily been building its capabilities and expanding its reach into new areas. Medical affairs, once a little-known entity, is making its mark on the industry, but if leveraged properly, its impact could be even greater.


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The Evolving Role of Medical Affairs: Four Trends to Watch

Posted by Sarah Jarvis on Wed, Jan 02, 2019

Sunil John co-wrote this post with Sarah Jarvis

Over the years, pharmaceutical companies’ medical affairs organizations have continued to grow not only in size but also in scope. Now, medical affairs groups are being leveraged as key strategic partners, and they’re being tapped for everything from generating real-world evidence to engaging patient advocacy groups to HEOR research. As a result, pharma companies are increasing their investment in medical affairs organizations: ZS’s 2018 Medical Affairs Outlook Report, which surveyed more than 100 medical affairs personnel from 45-plus companies,


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