Speak Out

Contributed by:

Katie Anders Head of Medical Affairs Strategic Solutions, powered by Medscape

NOTE: The content below contains the first few paragraphs of the printed article and the titles of the sidebars and boxes, if applicable.

Medical affairs is in the midst of a transformation. The dynamics of the healthcare industry, the complexity of new science, and the breadth and sophistication of communication channels that physicians have available for accessing information, are expanding the role of medical affairs and reshaping the function.

In pharmaceutical companies, where departments frequently operate in silos, medical affairs—the company’s primary liaison with physicians and other healthcare stakeholders, including formulary managers and payers—is now assuming a more central role and serving as the bridge between R&D, marketing and sales.

Medical affairs now must go beyond its traditional roles and responsibilities to being highly strategic—possessing the insights of a marketer, the customer-facing skills of sales, the understanding of rules and regulations governing industry interactions, and an R&D-level understanding of complex science and compounds. This expanded responsibility also carries with it increased expectations, and the need to measure and communicate value back into the organization.

Our insights show that MSLs are eager for new learnings that better equip them for this changing world. Many of our pharmaceutical and biotech supporters have been asking for solutions that can leverage our digital learning technologies and our personalized clinician behavior and practice performance data to help them reshape the medical affairs function. Medscape’s Medical Affairs Strategic Solutions division can help them achieve that goal.

Getting Personal: Training the New MSL

Traditional training tools and platforms—webinars, in-house e-learnings, and professional courses—are important, but may not be sufficient to meet the growing demands of the medical affairs team. There are more effective and engaging ways to communicate training and better ways to measure its effectiveness.

Medscape’s Medical Affairs Strategic Solutions provides the insights and real world data needed to enhance MSL/ physician communication via a set of personalized immersive learning approaches that have impact and are effective and engaging. For example, our Personalized Learning initiative uses proprietary technology to assess the learner’s individual knowledge gaps, and then integrates and maps those gaps into the learning platform, aligning the training with interactive education (including real world data). The personalized educational modules that are then assigned help close those gaps, providing valuable insights from the learner’s point of view, and delivering perspective from physicians and health care providers.

Better Engagement with Key Stakeholders

In addition to optimizing the effectiveness of MSLs, personalized learning has the potential to streamline the function overall, breaking down silos and strengthening multi-functional teams around a core set of goals, i.e., to communicate clinical science and advances to improve patient care. Building a strong medical affairs team equipped for the changing environment makes the entire organization more effective, and supports skill-building throughout the product life cycle. Medical Affairs Strategic Solutions can also support principle investigator meetings by creating an educational curriculum personalized for the investigators, based on their individual knowledge gaps after attending the meeting.

In short, this new medical affairs learning platform can help bring pharmaceutical companies more in line with the needs of their key customers and stake-holders, breaking down the long entrenched knowledge and information silos that impede effectiveness and get in the way of organizational change.

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