Fostering Relationships Between Medical Affairs and External Experts

<p style="text-align: justify;">The crucial role of medical affairs has been to efficiently communicate the data from the initial regulatory approval to the external experts. Even though medical affairs have evolved, the intended function has always been to support the marketing and sales activities from a medical perspective.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Medical affairs and marketing work hand in hand, but simultaneously it is also conflictual. Currently, this nature of relationship is changing, and it is more focused on becoming a solutions-focused partnership with the marketing.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The role of medical affairs is changing, leading to a different kind of partnership emerging between the medical affairs and commercial activities.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Evolution in the Terminologies in Medical Affairs&nbsp;</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">The marketing perspective mainly influenced the terminologies that were used in medical affairs. Certain terms like &ldquo;Key Opinion Leaders&rdquo; (KOLs) or &ldquo;key decision-makers and influencers&rdquo; emphasize the economic value for the company of medical experts within the medical field (or indication) of interest for the company.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">These terminologies are based on the idea that the external medical experts follow a hierarchical structure and that the opinion of a medical expert working within a higher international context might be considered over the view of a local colleague.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Hence, it has been recommended to replace these marketing terminologies with other titles that are not linked to commercial interests, and which can facilitate the establishment of partnerships between internal and external medical experts.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">These gestures can build trust and shared understanding in the development of relationships between the healthcare professionals.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This article was contributed by our expert <a href="">Manolo Ernesto Beelke</a></em></span></p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Manolo Ernesto Beelke</span></h3><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. Is medical affairs part of the commercial?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Medical affairs is a function within Pharma, Biotech, and Medical device companies which provides the medical and scientific insight for a product with market access granted. It supports commercials to some extent but should be much more, as described in the article.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Medical affairs establish relationships with external experts and key opinion leaders, sometimes called in pharma jargon. Still, it should also help a company invest better in so-called Post-Marketing research, as described in the article.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. How do you create a medical affairs team?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">You select physicians with experience within a therapeutic group or medical affairs or train them on regulatory requirements.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. What is medical information in medical affairs?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Medical information in medical affairs is any scientific data developed either before market access or aftermarket access that supports the understanding of the mechanism of action of a drug, its efficacy and safety, and potentially the effect on the subgroups of patients.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">4. What are the other ways to foster the relationships between Medical Affairs and External Experts?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">The basis of any relationship with external experts is based on reciprocal recognition of expertise and the set-up of a partnership. However, the interest of these two groups might appear as different. For this purpose, finding common ground in which both parties can work together comfortably is required.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Manolo Ernesto Beelke

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