SPECIAL: Highlights from Medical Affairs Consortium 3rd Roundtable


The Medical Affairs function is constantly changing & leaders are being presented with various obstacles and hurdles they must overcome. One of the key areas that leaders have been struggling with recently is effective thought leader management.

In order to address these concerns, Best Practices, LLC held our 3rd Roundtable of the 2013-2014 Medical Affairs Consortium. The Roundtable was held virtually last Thursday, June 5th from 11:00AM – 12:30PM (Eastern Time). The discussion focused on effective thought leader management and brought together executives from the following leading organizations: Amgen, Astellas, Astra Zeneca, Baxter, Eli Lilly, Forest Labs, Genentech, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, ProStrakan, Sanofi, Teva.

The roundtable provided Medical Affairs executives a chance to discuss how peer companies are improving coordination across functions and regions, increasing the value of interaction with thought leaders, as well as the optimum contact frequency and new technologies. Some key findings that were uncovered in the roundtable included:

  • New Technologies Create Opportunities: One of the most important challenges that the field medical teams face is the amount of time that they have with thought leaders.  As a result, many pharmaceutical companies have been exploring innovative ways to contact with thought leaders to make the most out of their time and deliver the highest benefit.  However, most of the companies are at the early stage of exploring new technologies such as online scientific meetings, online advisory boards, WebEx conferences and programs, etc…
  • Emerging Markets Value Online Communication Channels More: According to a group of surveyed emerging market executives and global executives who attended the roundtable, online channels are enormously successful in emerging market countries, with 600-1000 external payers and providers dialing into one scientific meeting or advisory board at a time.  On that note, it is important to explore the reasons for this success, understand why innovative channels are more successful in the emerging markets, and adjust the methods that drove this success to the mature markets.
  • Frequency of Contact Should be Adjusted According to Thought Leader Needs: Roundtable participants mentioned that the main drivers of frequency are:

o   Previous discussions with thought leaders

o   Communication channels to accomplish future engagements

o   Stage of relationship with thought leaders

o   Needs of thought leaders

The 3rd roundtable concluded the 2013-2014 Medical Affairs Consortium. However, we will be preparing to kick off the next Medical Affairs Consortium in July.

For more information on the Medical Affairs Consortium, click here.To review the weekly research release from the Medical Affairs Consortium, visit our website.

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