Relationships Matter: To be Effective, Medical Information Groups in Pharmaceutical Companies Must Forge Collaborative Relationships with other Internal Groups such as Legal


Within the pharmaceutical sector, medical information groups shoulder great responsibilities. The principal role of medical information groups, which are typically part of the medical affairs organization, is responding to questions about products from external groups such as physicians.

While this is an important activity, it also carries some risk because of the regulatory environment; thus the medical affairs function has to ensure that its medical information activities are aligned with compliance requirements. That is why, one of the key measures of a successful medical information group is how effective it is in collaborating with other roles such as legal and medical affairs (which oversees MSLs) to ensure the right information is conveyed to key external stakeholders. However, it appears that the size of the company dictates to some extent how closely a medical information group works with legal, according to our new research.

For instance, large and mid-sized companies are much more likely than small companies to have a flexible approach to legal department reviews of medical information letters, according to the study. 60% of large and 50% of mid-sized companies have their legal department review only select letters while 63% of small companies have legal review all letters, according to the study. 

legal dept reviews

The differences may be the result of resources: small companies have fewer resources and thus their medical information groups likely don’t have the legal knowledge within their group that larger companies have.

Best Practices, LLC undertook this benchmarking research to explore how leading pharma and biotech companies structure and organize their medical information groups. The study – Critical Strategies to Develop Strong Medical Information Groups also delivers benchmarks around alignment of information activities with compliance requirements and which internal groups are key partners for medical information groups.

Medical information group leaders participating in this study said they regularly collaborate with Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs), pharmacovigilance, regulatory and legal groups.

To identify the critical requirements for an effective medical information group, Best Practices, LLC engaged 26 executives from leading bio-pharmaceutical companies to participate in a survey and interviews for this benchmark study.

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