Benchmarking the Pharma Industry’s Medical Affairs Functions (2nd edition)


Medical Affairs departments serve many stakeholders: patients, physicians, payers, commercial departments, R&D, and the list goes on. These responsibilities must be handled while keeping pace with an evolving industry and ever-changing regulatory environment. To gain a current perspective on the Medical Affairs function, ISR interviewed Medical Affairs professionals at Top 50 pharmaceutical and biotech companies. These professionals shared their perspectives on topics such as the role of Medical Affairs within their organizations, how their departments are structured, and key challenges faced by Medical Affairs employees. ISR also collected insights on department size, outsourcing practices, and department funding.

Benchmarking the Pharma Industry's Medical Affairs Functions
  • Determine where your company’s approach to the Medical Affairs function may be different from a typical industry approach and the benefits and drawbacks that may result.
  • Gather information on Medical Affairs structures and headcounts employed by other organizations to provide a new perspective from which to consider your departmental alignment.
  • Learn about common industry approaches to practices such as outsourcing and effectiveness measures within Medical Affairs.
  • Understand how Top 50 pharmaceutical companies are using social media as well as the benefits afforded by using these platforms and their accompanying challenges.
  • Goals of Medical Affairs
  • Involvement in Product Development Process
  • Medical Affairs and Social Media
  • Best Practices for Collaborating on Medical Affairs Work
  • Medical Affairs Department Size and Structure
  • Effectiveness Metrics
  • Outsourcing Behavior
  • Main Departmental Challenges & Potential Solutions
  • Medical Affairs Budget
  • Future Predictions
  • Best Practices and Recommendations

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Study Overview

Research Objectives
Potential Best Practices
Interviewee Job Titles
Years of Experience in Medical Affairs
Interviewee Responsibilities

Study Findings

Goals of Medical Affairs
Involvement in Product Development Process

Key Takeaways

Medical Affairs and Social Media

The Role of Medical Affairs with Social Media
Types of Social Media Sites Used
Social Media: How Is It Working?
Social Media Plans for the Future
Key Takeaways

Best Practices for Collaborating on Medical Affairs Work

Key Takeaways

Medical Affairs Department Size and Structure

Attributes of Successful Employees
Location of Staff
Overview of Medical Affairs Structures
Organizational Structures in Medical Affairs
Organizational Alignment
Key Takeaways

Effectiveness Metrics

Qualitative Measures
Quantitative Measures
Key Takeaways

Outsourcing Behavior

Degree of Outsourcing
Services Outsourced
Outsourcing to CROs vs. Non-CROs
Vendor Attribute Importance
The Future of Outsourcing for Medical Affairs
Key Takeaways

Main Departmental Challenges & Potential Solutions

Finding and Honing Talent within Medical Affairs
Pressure to Operate Consistently in Changing and Varied Regulatory Environments
Developing Effective Communications and Publications
Developing Competency to Communicate Effectively on Social Media
Conveying the Value of the Medical Affairs Function
Traditional Role Expanding to Demand More Evidence for Commercial Purposes
Budget Concerns
Need for Cultural Sensitivity to Increase Competence in Global Markets
Key Takeaways

Medical Affairs Budget

Sources of Funding for Medical Affairs
Largest Spend Categories
Medical Affairs Budget for 2017
Key Takeaways

Future Predictions
Best Practices and Recommendations

Additional information


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