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Medical science liaisons (MSLs) represent an essential link between pharmaceutical manufacturers and customers by objectively communicating complex scientific information to demonstrate product value. It is critical that MSLs continue to meet customer needs and expectations in an evolving and data driven managed care environment. HIRC's Best in Class Medical Science Liaison Customer Insights report addresses the following questions:
- Which very large, large, and mid-size firms' medical science liaisons receive the most best in class nominations?
- Which medical science liaison attributes operationally define the best in class?
- How do managed markets customers expect the role of the medical science liaison to evolve?
- Which key issues should MSLs be prepared to discuss in 2017 from the customer's perspective?
Key Finding: Managed markets panelists expect medical science liaisons to strengthen expertise in (1) complex disease processes, and (2) alternative drug therapies compared to the standard of care.
Medical Science Liaisons from Novartis are Most Often Nominated as Best in Class. HIRC queried 94 key commercial health plan pharmacy and medical directors, as well as pharmacy benefit manager executives to learn which firms' medical science liaisons are best in meeting customer needs. Respondents were asked to nominate the best MSLs from very large, large, and mid-size pharmaceutical firms. Novartis received the most best in class MSL nominations across managed markets panelists, followed by Novo Nordisk.
- Novartis medical science liaisons are noted for professionalism, excellent clinical knowledge, and a comprehensive understanding of customers' business needs.
- Novo Nordisk MSLs are described as effective in building meaningful relationships by demonstrating an understanding of customers' challenges and sharing best practices.
Five Factor Categories Operationally Define Best in Class Medical Science Liaisons. Managed markets customers were asked to explain their rationale for best medical science liaison nominations. Analyses reveal that their evaluations fall within five key descriptive factor categories: (1) Knowledge, (2) Relationship Management, (3) Interpersonal & Social Skills, (4) MSL Role Expectation, and (5) General Impressions of the MSL.
The best medical science liaisons are most often described as (1) having a professional and executive presence, (2) demonstrating deep therapeutic area and product knowledge, and (3) possessing strong presentation and communication skills. The complete Best in Class Medical Science Liaison Customer Insights report includes best medical science liaison nominations segmented by the following:
- Commercial Health Plan Pharmacy Directors
- Commercial Health Plan Medical Directors
- Pharmacy Benefit Manager Executives
Research Methodology and Report Availability. In December-January, HIRC surveyed 94 key decision-makers from leading commercial health plans and pharmacy benefit managers. Online surveys and follow-up telephone interviews were used to gather information. The Best in Class Medical Science Liaison Customer Insights report is part of the Best Programs and Best People Service, and is now available to subscribers at www.hirc.com.