Benchmarking the Pharma Industry’s Medical Affairs Functions (3rd Ed.)


Medical Affairs is a function that serves many purposes and works closely with many customers, both internal and external. Medical Affairs employees are the keepers of the medical strategy, the communicators of scientific knowledge, and the bridge between internal departments. They have “Swiss army knife skillsets,” according to one research participant, and they are called upon to fulfill a wide range of roles, from evidence generation to advisory board planning. Industry Standard Research interviewed 15 Medical Affairs professionals at Top 50 biopharmaceutical companies to gather a current, in-depth understanding of the Medical Affairs function. ISR performed similar research in 2014 and 2017 and we wanted to see how the department has evolved in recent years. Our goal was to understand how their functions are structured, the problems they are facing, and new trends they are seeing in the space. The primary intent of this research is to provide a peek behind the curtain for biopharmaceutical companies to compare their Medical Affairs function and practices to those of other organizations.

  • Understand how Medical Affairs departments at Top 50 companies are designed (structure, headcount, organizational alignment, geographic dispersion) and compare to your company’s approach
  • Learn about common challenges faced by research participants and the solutions being employed to overcome them
  • Read about companies’ approaches to outsourcing Medical Affairs work (which work is outsourced, how much work, and expected changes to outsourcing practices)
  • Determine how companies are tackling notoriously tricky topics such as social media usage and effectiveness metrics
  • Get a read on new trends and technologies in the Medical Affairs realm to ensure your company is up to date
  • Review best practices mentioned by interviewees across all topics in the report and consider which might be helpful at your organization
  • 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
  • Departmental Challenges & Potential Solutions
  • Medical Affairs Budget
  • Medical Affairs Innovations & Trends
  • Future Predictions
  • Best Practices and Recommendations

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