SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

June 29, 2016 08:17 ET

67% of Small Medical Device Companies Centralize Medical Affairs Teams

New Study Examines Device Companies' Medical Affairs Structures and Organizations

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - June 29, 2016) - A new study of large and mid-size medical device companies found a 50-50 split between centralized and decentralized structures. Surveyed small companies' data revealed that 67% favored centralized organizations, according to medical affairs benchmarking firm Cutting Edge Information.

To position medical affairs teams to support growing responsibilities, medical device companies need to strategically structure their medical affairs teams to handle various sub-functions, such as field-based medical affairs or medical information. Establishing medical affairs organizations within medical device companies has only recently become a trend over the past decade. Establishing centralized or decentralized medical affairs structures typically varies according to the company's existing size and location, according to the study.

The new study, Medical Affairs for Medical Device Manufacturers, examines the benefits and shortcomings of centralized and decentralized structures. One key benefit of centralized medical affairs groups is that they easily facilitate rapid internal communication. Companies with small staffs will assign medical affairs responsibility at the global level. Since the team works under the same guidance, it is more likely than a decentralized team to develop and implement a unified functional strategy.

"Decentralized teams run the risk of performing inefficient and duplicative medical affairs activities," said Adam Bianchi, Senior Director of Research at Cutting Edge Information. "These results are often due to a lack of robust communication channels among the teams."

One of the main challenges that decentralized teams face is communication among teams in different regions, causing duplicated or misaligned efforts. Centralized teams streamline processes to lower the risk of duplicate errors within the company. These strengths are a result of centralized teams' ability to more easily share tools and best practices among multiple markets and therapeutic areas.

Medical Affairs for Medical Device Manufacturers, available at, is included in a collection of six new benchmarking reports published by Cutting Edge Information. The suite of reports examines medical affairs structures, budget and staffing resources and activities specifically for medical device firms. Key questions answered by the reports:

  • How do device companies establish medical affairs functions?
  • What factors and benchmarks do teams consider to right-size their MSL teams?
  • What are the benefits of outsourcing medical publications? How does outsourcing impact time and costs?
  • What structures would help medical information call centers better handle incoming inquiries?
  • How can companies establish and maintain cross-functional communication to ensure compliance?

To learn more about Cutting Edge Information's medical affairs benchmarking studies, visit

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