MSL-KOL Engagement: Measuring Success

Date: December 1, 2011
Pages: 26
US$ 595.00
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Publisher: FirstWord
Report type: Strategic Report
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF)

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MSL-KOL Engagement: Measuring Success
It’s difficult to quantify. Its role constantly changes. And despite all efforts to gain transparency, the field of medical science liaison (MSL) remains an elusive—seemingly immeasurable—yet undeniable value-added role in the pharmaceutical industry.

In this latest report, FirstWord Dossier tackles the intangible nature of MSL work to describe not only the obstacles to identifying appropriate, attributable and transparent metrics, but how to develop them so that they align with corporate objectives.


Report Overview

While contributing significantly to company success, quantifying what MSLs do has always proven elusive. In MSL Metrics: Measuring Success, FirstWord unravels the subtle impact of the MSL field force. The report reviews the main quantitative and qualitative metrics used to measure achievement, offers insight into how MSLs specialise—and the drawbacks that may represent—and examines the structure of successful MSL programmes. Concisely written, the report offers the industry clear-sighted, practical strategies for creating a solid approach to measuring MSL success.


Key features
  • Discussion of the evolution of the MSL role and their relationships with researchers, payers and government
  • Feedback from KOLs on what they want from MSLs
  • Discussion of generic versus targeted metrics
  • Data on the main quantitative and qualitative metrics used by industry
  • The pros and cons of MSL field force specialisation
  • How to align MSL metrics with corporate and medical affairs objectives
Purchase Reasons

Key Benefits
  • Expert insight from key players in medical affairs on the most appropriate and effective metrics
  • Practical tips for measuring quantitative and qualitative results
  • Access to the MSL perspective, case studies and building effective MSL programmes
Who Would Benefit From This Report?
  • Medical and scientific affairs managers
  • Global medical affairs managers
  • Sales and marketing managers
  • Professional and medical science liaison officers
  • Key account and territory managers
  • Communications and technology support teams
  • Health outcomes managers
Key quotes

“A company will never say, ‘because of the MSL, the sales team have gotten this much market share’ because the FDA doesn’t look kindly on that. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. There are companies that will use MSLs very heavily to support the sales force.”
– Jane Chin, founder, MSL Institute and managing partner of 9Pillars

“Nobody really knows of a good way to do MSL metrics. We don’t want to use the same metrics as the sales organisation, but how do we measure MSL success without being able to have defined outcomes?”
– Doral Fredericks, vice-president, Medical Affairs, at specialty company, ISTA Pharmaceuticals

“Nobody in MSL land leadership likes to hear it, but you have to customise the data for what your stakeholders want. Who’s asking for the value? What do they think the value is? What are they looking for to see value? Then you have to fill that with numbers and that’s how you report it on a quarterly or whatever basis.”
– Eric Kassel, vice-president of global medical affairs, UCB

Expert Views
  • Jane Chin, founder of the MSL Institute and managing partner of 9Pillars
  • Eric Kassel, senior scientific medical director, Allergan
  • Andrew Lam, senior MSL, Shire Human Genetic Therapies
  • Doral Fredericks, head of medical affairs, ISTA Pharmaceuticals
  • Ashok Bhaseen, head of sales and marketing, PediaPharm
  • Dr Robin Winter-Sperry, president and CEO, Scientific Advantage
  • Cameron Tew, director, Best Practices LLC
  • Drew Macgregor, medical operations manager, Bristol-Myers Squibb Europe
  • Vice-president of Medical and Scientific Affairs, Company A


Eyes and ears of the company
A diversifying role
Increased competition to engage with KOLs
Inadequate metrification


Counting numbers
Quantitative metrics
Qualitative metrics
The language of numbers
Satisfying internal stakeholders
Constant adjustments
Making sense of the numbers
Areas of specialisation
MSLs in clinical research
Engaging payers
Government affairs
Specialisation versus flexibility
Is therapeutic specialisation necessary?
Segmenting KOLs
Weeding out the good from the bad
Tailoring the metrics


Case study: Showing internal value
Building blocks
What data needs to be captured?
Development plans
Frequency of visits
Capacity planning
Reactive work
Changing company needs
The scorecard


Career progression
Scientific voice of a company

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