As the healthcare landscape evolves in the US and throughout the world, life science companies must prove that their innovative products improve patient outcomes while providing benefits that are markedly different from current offerings. Market drivers today include value-based evidence and clinical outcomes, which demonstrate the link between patient outcomes and the cost of achieving them. Along with better dissemination and communication of improved outcomes to a wide variety of stakeholders, life sciences companies must use big data to position their science and validate value to the patient. The Medical Affairs (MA) role proves critical to meeting patient and
consumer obligations while helping companies realize commercial opportunities.
Historically, MA has maintained separation from Commercial activities within life sciences organizations to ensure adherence to regulatory requirements. However, that separation should not preclude conversation that advances science for the benefit of healthcare professionals and the patients they treat. The organization of the past bred a need to bridge the activities between Research & Development (R&D) and Commercial teams. In addition to communicating abundant data, MA responsibilities are evolving beyond product development to demonstrate not only life-cycle value but patient value.
EVOLVING THE ROLE
This evolution demands more involvement from MA professionals. With the proper credentials and credibility, these individuals sit in an opportune space between internal and external stakeholders. According to the Medical Affairs Professional Society, MA connects “internal R&D; commercial, clinical, and regulatory departments; and external entities such as HCPs [healthcare professionals], scientific experts, patients, caregivers, payers, and decision makers—each with their own needs.”
In response to the demand for transparency and proven value, MA engages to safely introduce innovation while establishing itself as a partner with healthcare systems. Better communication and information dissemination will help establish external credibility to achieve success.
Partnering with the right agency helps facilitate a robust connection between MA and Commercial. With visibility to each team’s initiatives, a good agency partner helps identify synergies across both groups, which results in better use of resources. FORCE Communications works with pharmaceutical and medical device companies on a wide variety of projects with various stakeholders. By understanding and actively engaging with different business functions, we help the work evolve and maximize effort.
DATA AND EVIDENCE GENERATION
Data and the information gained from scientific investigations help scientists gain insight and understanding. As the result of exponential advancements in technology, MA professionals’ information access has transformed their ability to meet patient needs in several ways; advanced analytics drive science-based decision making on patient product use combined with novel information from a variety of sources.
Electronic medical records (EMR), real-world evidence (RWE), wearable devices, genomics, and other data sources can be aggregated to provide insights that enable innovation to inform collaboration with stakeholders. MA professionals will need these tools to collect not only valuable patient data, but also insights from healthcare professionals, payers, and policymakers. With increased access to this data, the MA organization of the future will require a deeper understanding of and the ability to synthesize big data. This ability will inform the scientific and medical narrative.
IMPORTANCE OF PARTNERING WITH COMMERCIAL
With credibility, insight, an understanding of the data, and a patient-centric perspective, MA professionals should lead strategy and influence the many facets of life sciences companies, from R&D to post approval application. The MA role confirms, communicates, and disseminates emerging data with commercial partners to impact strategies and tactics. Ideally, MA should be equally involved in brand strategy creation alongside their internal R&D and Commercial partners.
The effective relationships of MA teams with their scientific peers provides value throughout the drug development life cycle. MA, along with Commercial, should have access to essential information, such as evidence and data informing product development. As a credible partner that deeply understands the healthcare system and implications of adopting new treatments, MA’s insight and partnership with Commercial puts patient needs first to deliver innovative products and improve patient outcomes.
Brands leverage FORCE Communications’ expertise to leverage their resources and build collaboration between MA and Commercial. FORCE works to maximize partnership with key internal and external stakeholders to align on goals, from strategy to specific objectives, while providing key insight. Our experience spans practically every therapeutic area and includes collaboration with both internal and external stakeholders on strategic initiatives proven to drive
At FORCE, success includes bringing stakeholders into the process early and treating them like partners rather than obstacles, which keeps ideas intact from inspiration to implementation. Drawing on the proven expertise of our scientific experts and skilled communicators, FORCE Communications provides clients with powerful and effective messaging that brings science to life.
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