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Building Stronger Relationships with Key Opinion Leaders Ignites Need for Medical Science Liaisons

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Aug. 7, 2013 - As regulatory and commercial pressures increase on pharmaceutical organizations, competition for the support of physicians and Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) is simultaneously intensifying. In order to build stronger relationships with these physician groups, biopharma organizations heavily rely on Medical Science Liaisons (MSL) as a part of their Medical Affairs functions.

To help organizations better understand how MSLs can provide critical windows of insight into the market, Best Practices, LLC conducted a comprehensive research study. The benchmarking report, "Roles, Resourcing, and Management of Medical Science Liaisons," further explores the many diverse roles that MSLs play in developing critical relationships that drive success in the pharmaceutical sector.

The report covers various topical areas, including the frequency of interactions between KOLs and MSLs, as well as the perceived value of MSL responsibilities with KOLs. Eighty-nine percent of respondents saw identifying, developing and maintaining strong relationships with KOLs as a "very valuable" activity performed by MSLs. Other highly valued activities included increased scientific interaction and congress support.

Key study objectives included:

  • Benchmarking Pre and Post-Launch Service Activities
  • Identify Drivers of Group Size & Focus
  • Gain Insight into Structuring & Aligning Medical with Sales Organizations
  • Identify Optimal Call Frequencies and Service Levels with Thought Leaders
  • Identify Relationship Management Standards of Excellence
  • Value Associated with MSL
  • Budget Allocation to MSLs

This benchmarking research drew participation from 27 leaders at 24 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Insights were gained from interviews and benchmark performance data. The study assists leaders in uncovering the optimal MSL group size, as well as with mix and service frequencies that are required to build productive relationships with KOLs and hard-to-see physicians.

To access the full report or to download a complimentary summary containing insights found in this report, click here.

For more information on other recent primary research studies, contact us at 919.403.0251 or visit our website at

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