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Is it time for a more integrated and human-centric approach to Medical Affairs leadership?

By Shairose Ebrahim

Shairose

The Medical Affairs (MA) function has seen a radical transformation in recent years, evolving from a tactical team member supporting commercial activities to a strategic partner, expected to lead the communication of increasingly complex science and the implementation of trials that yield real-world evidence (RWE) to demonstrate clinical value. A different approach to MA leadership is now required.

MA leaders must navigate seamlessly between clinical, commercial, R&D and external stakeholders, speaking the language of each and uniting disparate views to create a single voice with which to speak to the external world; a voice that must remain balanced while being sufficiently impactful to change clinical paradigms. Yet the foundational activities of MA, such as provision of robust medical information and ensuring compliance, continue alongside new accountabilities for strategic, therapeutic and portfolio leadership.

How can today’s leader in MA achieve the highest standards while performing a delicate balancing act?

Like every great leader – by starting with a credible vision and bringing it to life. By becoming the champion of one voice, both internally and externally, a truly integrated approach is achievable for MA. Activities must deliver scientific communication of the highest quality, fully leveraging data generated by R&D in order to develop a scientific story that is aligned to customer needs. These activities should capitalise on emerging RWE to support the value proposition, providing all customer-facing colleagues with a platform for rigorous messaging and complementary scientific programmes. Above all, the scientific story needs to deliver consistently and transparently, to build trust and to precipitate changes in the attitude and behaviour of the customer.

To achieve the best results, in line with their vision, MA leaders should consider working with specialist integrated agencies; those who are able to assimilate data from all sources, build a scientific story and weave this into every programme delivered by the MA team – while at the same time embracing the concept that the cognitive decision-making of the customer is no different from that of a consumer and is intrinsically driven by human-centric values.

Shairose Ebrahim, President and CEO. integrated medhealth communication (imc) group

In association with

imc

27th May 2019

From: Research

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