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Products & Services Medical Affairs Launch Optimization

Maximizing the Impact of Medical Affairs in Product Launch: Timeline, Resources, and Preparedness

ID: 5573


28 Info Graphics

11 Data Graphics

150+ Metrics

Pages/Slides: 52

Published: 2019

Delivery Format: Online PDF Document


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Medical Affairs has become one of the key players in new product launches. The function oversees vital activities that span the critical periods of pre-launch, launch and post-launch.

In order to maximize its launch impact, Medical Affairs groups need to create and maintain a strategic timeline for launch activities; deploy resources at appropriate points in this timeline and ensure that launch preparedness metrics are used to make sure activities adhere to the timeline.

To examine how Medical Affairs can effectively plan and execute its role in overseeing launch timeline, resources and preparedness, Best Practices, LLC conducted a study that examines each of these critical launch components.

The first section of the study provides a qualitative overview on Medical Affairs and its growing role in launch; this chapter focuses on the development of a Medical Affairs strategy and work plan for guiding and supporting a product launch. Subsequent chapters study launch timeline creation across a dozen activities; launch staffing and investment across key periods; and launch prepared ness metrics across key activities. The study also reviews critical success factors and major pitfalls and technology tools used by Medical Affairs during launch.

Medical Affairs leaders can use this study to compare how their organization utilizes Medical Affairs effectively in the build-up to launch.


  • Study Findings
  • Launch Strategy and Work Plan
  • Launch Timeline Details
  • Launch Resourcing
  • Launch Preparedness Metrics
  • Critical Success Factors and Major Pitfalls
  • Technology
  • Appendix
  • Qualitative Overview of Launch Strategy and Work Plan
  • What is actual vs. ideal time to start launch activities across development lifecycle
  • What is your launch timeline for Planning and budgeting Medical Affairs work
  • What is your launch timeline for Building Medical Affairs team and deploying progress trackers
  • What is your launch timeline for Organizational support and data generation
  • What is your launch timeline for Education and advisory boards
  • What is your launch timeline for Leading internal communication and building medical data
  • What is your launch timeline for Publications and medical congresses
  • What is your launch timeline for Engaging key external stakeholders
  • What is your Medical Affairs staffing and investment breakdown before and post launch
  • What is the Medical Affairs launch investment per medical FTE
  • List your before and post launch budget allocation for key activities
  • List your before and post launch staffing allocation for key activities
  • What are your drug launch metrics for Strategy planning, project management, education and organizational support
  • What are your drug launch metrics for Communications and stakeholder engagement
  • What are your drug launch metrics for Stakeholder engagement
  • Please list critical factors that drive successful launch for Medical Affairs
  • Please list major pitfalls for Medical Affairs during launch
  • What communication tools are used by Medical Affairs during launch and their relative popularity
  • What CRM and collaboration tools are used by Medical Affairs during launch and their relative popularity
  • What content management and materials building tools are used by Medical Affairs during launch and their relative popularity

  • Start early to ensure sufficient funding and timing to deliver on activities
    1. As a rule of thumb, aim to start each key activity 1 phase earlier than you normally would.
    2. Resourcing is the major problem of a later start. Co-leading the launch team can raise your voice and help you secure resourcing quicker but don’t over expand your scope. Those Medical Affairs groups that lead expect to carry a greater load during launch. Thus, they expect to get more funding.
    3. Use “pareto principle” in deciding which activities would benefit the most from earlier start. By starting some activities 1 phase or year earlier (e.g., at Phase 3, 3 years prior to launch [Ph 3,-3] and not Phase 3, 2 years prior to launch [Ph 3,-2]), Medical Affairs can improve its performance by up to 28%.

Best Practices, LLC engaged over 60 Medical Affairs leaders from 44 pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies in this research study through a benchmarking survey, interviews and a roundtable discussion.

Industries Profiled:
Pharmaceutical; Biopharmaceutical; Health Care; Biotech; Clinical Research; Laboratories; Medical Device; Chemical; Diagnostic

Companies Profiled:
Novartis; Clovis Oncology; Merck KGaA; Imbrium Therapeutics; AbbVie; Servier; Sanofi; Dermira; AstraZeneca; Exelixis ; Shire; Curis; Merck; Fidia; Boehringer Ingelheim; Medacta; Santen; EMD Serono; Takeda Pharmaceuticals; cipla; Daiichi Sankyo; Sandoz; Eisai; Vifor Pharma; Alcon; Bausch Health; GE Healthcare; Sanofi Genzyme; Alkermes; Lundbeck; Merz Pharma; Zydus; Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd.; Taiho Oncology; Alnylam Pharmaceuticals; Grifols; AcelRx; Vertex Pharmaceuticals; Gedeon Richter ; Celgene; Crescendo Bioscience; Orchard Therapeutics; GRAIL

If you purchase Best Practice Database document(s), you will have 30 days from the date of purchase to apply some or all of the cost of the document(s) toward the cost of a Full Access Individual, Pharma, Group or University Membership. Write us at DatabaseTeam@bestpracticesllc.com or call David Guinn at 919-767-9179 if you have any questions.