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Newly Updated for 2011: Medical Science Liaison Study Shows Growth in KOL Outreach, Impact

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., March 29, 2011 – Whether for new Oncology products or new medicines in other highly competitive Therapeutic Areas, it is imperative that top bio-pharma plan better and execute more quickly than ever before to educate the thought leaders, physicians, patients and payers who ultimately determine the success of a new product.

For new product planning, medical affairs, and launch leaders seeking to effectively support soon-to-be launched products, Best Practices, LLC has published the critical new industry-driven study Shaping the Marketplace to Support Successful Oncology Product Launches: Tactics for Educating KOLs, Physicians, Patients and Payers.

This 150-page report contains almost 500 metrics to help inform launch leaders in Oncology and other Therapeutic Areas on the most effective type and timing of market education practices during the full development cycle.

Sample key findings from this study include:
On average in Phase III during launch year, Oncology product teams seek to target approximately half the number (169) of thought leaders than do product teams from the entire benchmark class of all Therapeutic Areas (346)
Executives participating in this study emphasized the importance of adopting a middle ground in Publishing Strategy, noting companies should not "publish too little or too much"
In fact, in regard to Oncology product teams, almost 35% of papers appearing during Phase III were placed in Tier 2 journals with a regional audience - a number almost doubling the figure for the Diabetes product segment (18%) and also higher than the Total Benchmark segment (28%)

In fact, today, MSL involvement in identifying and forging relationships with KOLs has increased by more than 20% since 2009, according to a newly-published Best Practices, LLC study entitled Medical Science Liaisons: Gaining Access and Forging Relationships with Key Opinion Leaders (Updated for 2011).

As one interviewed Senior Vice President commented: “Time spent by Medical Science Liaisons in interaction [with KOLs] is now used as a metric to measure MSL effectiveness.”

With interviews and key insights drawn from 27 leaders at 24 leading bio-pharmaceutical companies, this Best Practices, LLC benchmarking study identifies a wealth of strategies and proven tactics that helps Medical Affairs and other executives to effectively determine the optimal number of liaisons, mix of responsibilities, number of interactions and span of control that are critical to build strong and productive relationships over the life of a brand.

The full 78-page report contains more than 600 benchmark metrics and scores of executive narratives that companies can use to benchmark key management factors reflecting size, service levels and roles of Medical Science Liaisons in serving KOLs and hard-to-see physicians.

Additionally, this critical report provides a series of fascinating longitudinal data comparisons from 2009 - the date of Best Practices, LLC’s orginal study on the topic – and a host of current data from 2011 enabling executives to capitalize on new trends which animate MSL strategy throughout the industry.

Key topics of this primary research include:
  • Identification of Key Education Tactics for Thought Leaders, Physicians, Patients, and Payers
  • Identification of Key Timing for Educational Activities for KOLs, Physicians, Patients and Payers
  • Assessment of Key Market Education Practices, including Thought Leader Activities, CME, Scientific Publication Strategy and Tactics, Patients and Patient Advocacy Education, Clinical Trials & Payer Education
To learn more about the study, download a complimentary summary at

For more information, contact Cameron Tew, Executive Director of Research and Publishing at Best Practices, LLC at (919) 767-9246 or

BEST PRACTICES, LLC conducts work based on the simple yet profound principle that organizations can chart a course to superior economic performance by studying the best business practices, operating tactics and winning strategies of world-class companies. Best Practices, LLC has been a leader in pharmaceutical research and consulting for more than 17 years; our clients include 48 of the top 50 pharmaceutical companies.

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