Medical Affairs Excellence: Performance Metrics


The Medical Affairs function plays an enormous role in meeting current challenges in clinical development, market education, and regulatory compliance.  As the importance of Medical Affairs continues to grow and the marketplace evolves, defining key performance metrics and utilizing them effectively will help leaders to create high-impact organizations that drive results.

Our most recent Medical Affairs Consortium Roundtable allowed executives from various leading companies to discuss and identify the current industry trends in performance metrics tracking.  The key areas that leaders should examine when determining which performance metrics to utilize include:

  • Frequency of Performance Metrics: Companies tend to assess performance on a monthly or quarterly basis for most core metrics. Size and Number of Thought Leader Panels/Presentations, and Number of Clinical Trials Supported are the most frequently evaluated metrics within the Mature Markets segment. The areas that are observed less frequently (often just on a yearly basis) are Internal and External Satisfaction.
  • Types of Metrics Used: Both the Mature and Emerging Markets segment use the number of Thought Leader Engagements, Panels and Presentations as primary performance indicators for their Medical Affairs organization. While 83% of the benchmark group is using External Satisfaction Surveys, only ½ of the Emerging Market benchmark group evaluates their Medical Affairs organization through this highly-valued metric

Performance Metrics


  • Importance of Performance Metrics: The key metrics that were ranked as “very important” by Emerging Markets benchmark companies included: Number of Investigators Recruited and other clinical-trials related activities. Time (Duration) of Meetings with Thought Leaders was also deemed “very important” or “highly important” by 75% of companies. Emerging Markets companies tend to value Satisfaction Surveys less than Mature Markets companies.

Pharmaceutical companies are facing a real challenge in developing and maintaining relationships with thought leaders while safely navigating logistical and regulatory issues. A recent article featured on Pharmaceutical Executive, “Measuring the Value of KOL Interactions,” discusses the importance of this critical issue. The article mentioned, “One enduring problem is in finding an appropriate way to measure the impact of interactions between medical science liaisons (MSLs) and thought leaders.” By determining which performance metrics to utilize, and with what frequency to use them, leaders can ensure that they are delivering the most value to their Medical Affairs organization.

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