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MENA MSL excellence: Optimizing support for field medical operations in the Middle East and North Africa

ID: 5613


20 Info Graphics

10 Data Graphics

70 Metrics

13 Narratives

Pages/Slides: 37

Published: 2020

Delivery Format: Online PDF Document


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As medical science liaisons (MSLs) continue to play an important role in accessing and engaging key thought leaders in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region, the country-specific dynamics of a market affect how pharmaceutical field medical teams are organized and evaluated.

Thus it’s important to have teams appropriately aligned to each country to ensure the team’s success.

Best Practices, LLC conducted this benchmarking research to examine how leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies structure, align and support their MSL teams in the MENA region. The study also captures MENA region and country-level field metrics on MSL staffing, T&E budget and structure.

Insights in this research are presented into following segments to illuminate field medical trends at region and country level: Europe Segment (N=58), APAC Segment (N=30), Americas Segment (N=27), MENA Segment (N=9).

KEY Topics

  • Key Findings
  • Resourcing MSLs: Staffing, T&E budgets and launch support
  • Aligning MSLs: Structure, reporting and organizational support


A. MENA: Resourcing MSLs: Staffing, T&E budget and launch support
  • Average number of brands (including both in-line and pre-launch products) supported by each MSL in each of the listed countries
  • Interview narrative around having knowledgeable MSLs onboard
  • Interview narrative around the perceived value of MSLs
  • Total number of MSLs staffed in each country; total number of MSLs supporting each therapeutic area
  • MSL staffing footprint in each of the listed MENA countries
  • Interview narrative around key launch staffing milestones
  • Interview narrative around launch success for field medical teams
  • Interview narrative around ensuring MSLs can fulfill the product plan
  • Approximate annual total travel and entertainment (T&E) budget allocated to MSLs – All regions
  • Approximate annual total travel and entertainment (T&E) budget allocated to MSLs in each of the listed countries – MENA countries
  • Interview narrative around weighting of affiliate spend
B. MENA: Aligning MSLs: Structure, reporting and organizational support
  • MSL structure
  • MSL direct reporting outside of global Medical Affairs
  • Interview narrative around country-aligned (local) MSL reporting structure
  • Interview narrative around function-aligned (global) MSL reporting structure
  • Interview narrative around defining the MSL reporting structure for field medical organizations with low global footprint and evolving operations
  • Interview narrative around MSL execution
  • Interview narrative around the skillsets needed to succeed in remote markets for field medical staff
  • T&E Budget: Gulf MSLs in Saudi Arabia and UAE receive strong T&E budget allocations ($16,000 in both countries), which compare favorably to those issued to MSLs in more developed regions with more infrastructure and support. MSLs in Egypt and South Africa appear to have lower, but not tiny, T&E budget allocations in the $10,000 range.


Best Practices, LLC engaged 125 Global Medical Affairs and Field Medical Excellence leaders from more than 40 leading pharma and biotech companies in this research through a benchmarking survey. In-depth interviews were conducted with 8 benchmark partners to gain further insights. The vast majority of study participants serve at the executive or director level. Together they provide a comprehensive view of field medical operations around the world, from a global, regional and local perspective.

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

Companies Profiled:
Abbott; Alexion Pharmaceuticals; Allergopharma; Amgen; AstraZeneca; Bayer; Biogen; Bioventus; Boehringer Ingelheim; Celgene; Chiesi; Clovis Oncology; Dr Reddy's Laboratories; Eisai; Galderma; GE Healthcare; Gedeon Richter ; Gilead Sciences; Grifols; Ipsen; Janssen; Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals; Kyowa Kirin; Lupin; Merck; MSD; Novartis; Novelion Therapeutics; Pfizer; Rakuten Medical; Roche; Sandoz; Sanofi; Shire; Sunovion; Takeda Pharmaceuticals; UCB Pharma; Vertex Pharmaceuticals; Vifor Pharma; ViiV Healthcare

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.