Please login to the form below

Optimizing MSL Effectiveness in the Field

The role of the MSL has become central in contributing to the success of new pharmaceuticals and medical/diagnostic devices within the healthcare marketplace. Here Nascent Medical discusses the essential elements of MSL selection and training to ensure effectiveness in the field and accelerated capability.
The Medical Science Liaison (MSL) function is assuming an ever increasing prominence and importance within the pharmaceutical and medical device/diagnostics industry. The ability for trained individuals with a strong academic and/or professional background in medical science to communicate product clinical development data to key stakeholders is at the core of pre- and post-approval activities. Yet often the MSL is utilized sub-optimally or lacks the training or awareness to operate effectively as a medical affairs advocate in a commercial environment. Here we discuss the key elements required to ensure accelerated operation effectiveness of MSL teams in the field. The initial part of the story begins with selecting the right candidates. MSLs should have a strong academic background in medical science so that they are able and confident in communicating complex science convincingly to healthcare specialists. Therefore the candidate should possess the appropriate qualifications/and or background to be able to accomplish this. In general:
  • The individual should posses a higher science or medical degree: MSc, Mphil, Pharmacy degree (MPharm, DPharm), PhD or MD
  • If the individual does not possess a higher degree (as listed above) then they should have a BSc (Hons) degree combined with significant experience in as a healthcare professional, e.g. nurse or nurse specialist
But possessing a strong science background is my no means the whole story. In addition to the above the potential MSL must possess the following attributes (these criteria to be assessed during the selection interview):
  • An ability to communicate and self-promote
  • An ability to be proactive and innovative in terms of developing and understanding their own objectives
  • An ability to be proactive  in developing professional relationships, networking and in organising meetings with KOLs
  • Have excellent time management, communication and reporting skills
  • To have the initiative to operate independently to work toward pre-defined objectives and to fulfil performance metrics without day to day instruction
  • To understand that they are working as a medical affairs advocate but within a commercial environment
The interview process must be carefully designed; therefore, to assess these required attributes. Once suitable candidates have been selected then it is essential that they go through a thorough induction to the role. This is particularly important for candidates who have no commercial experience  – with a background in healthcare services or academia – or for those with no previous experience in the role.  However, because the focus for each role differs with the requirements of the particular commercial organisation it is recommended that all new MSL teams undergo specific induction training to include:
  • The role as a medical affairs advocate in a commercial environment
  • The role of the MSL in pre- and post-launch activities
  • Setting clearly defined objectives and performance metrics based on specific requirements
  • Time and organizational management
  • Comprehensive adherence to national and regional compliance regulations specific to pre and post launch activities
  • Defining and Building KOL Advocacy
    • KOL mapping and prioritisation
    • Stratification of KOLs/HCPs: The “tier” system
    • Assessing and developing positive advocacy
    • Building the professional relationship
    • Defining future KOL contribution
  • Developing  successful Customer Interactions
    • The 1:1 KOL meeting: How to set up the initial meeting
    • Defining and planning the aims and objectives of the meeting
    • Debriefing/reporting and defining the follow-up meeting
    • Role of the MSL at medical congresses
    • Role of the MSL in developing advisory boards and speaker briefings
    • “Special” – customer specific projects and activities (development of clinical trial participation, Investigator initiated Trials, Patient Registers, Named Patient Programmes etc)
  • The MSL’s role in the regional Key Account Business Unit
    • Structure of the Key Account team
    • Compliant support of the activities of the field representatives (sales and market access)
    • Field-based ongoing medical training
    • Supporting medical education projects
  • Full training in the science: therapeutic background, product developmental data and competitor data, appropriate international, national and regional therapeutic guidelines. This training aspect should be formally examined by role-play and tests.
It is essential that the induction training is augmented by interactive exercises and is followed by field based shadowing of established MSLs. So by selecting the right candidates and by the implementation of a thorough, role-specific induction process the operational capability of Nascent MSL teams can be significantly augmented and accelerated. Given the importance of the MSL function in future product success it is essential that MSL teams are selected and trained for maximum efficiency and capability.

Downloads

  Optimizing MSL Effectiveness in the Field
MS Word Document: 18.9 KB

2nd December 2015

Downloads

  Optimizing MSL Effectiveness in the Field
MS Word Document: 18.9 KB

Share

Tags