SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

December 02, 2015 12:21 ET

Competitive Medical Science Liaison Salaries: Large and Mid-sized Pharmaceutical Organizations Surpass Small Companies as Highest Annual Wage Providers

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - December 02, 2015) - Between 2012 and 2014, the majority of life sciences companies have responded to an increasingly competitive job market with an uptick in medical science liaison (MSLs) salaries. Small pharmaceutical companies, however, have maintained their MSL salaries, according to a recent study by primary intelligence firm Cutting Edge Information. MSLs with less than five years of experience at these small companies now receive less compensation per year than at mid-size or large pharmaceutical companies.

In 2012, surveyed small companies typically recorded the most competitive salaries across all MSL experience levels, followed by Top 25 companies. For example, small companies paid MSLs with no experience an average of $105,000 per year, compared to the average $96,000 paid to the same level employee at Top 25 companies. MSLs at small companies with two to five years of experience received $125,000, compared to the $108,000 offered to those at Top 25.

Now, small companies report relatively unchanged salaries across their in-house MSLs. Small pharmaceuticals' MSL salaries are no longer the highest among surveyed company types as larger companies have increased their wages to retain talented employees. According to 2014 averages, Top 50 organizations report the highest salaries for entry- and mid-level positions.

Capture and Communicate the Full Value of Medical Science Liaisons, available at provides MSL teams with KPIs they can benchmark against, as well as best practices that top pharmaceutical companies use to demonstrate liaison value to company stakeholders. Other key questions answered by this benchmarking study include:

  • What is the average MSL salary for entry-level, two-year and five-year experienced liaisons?
  • How do MSL teams justify their existence?
  • How do MSL teams make a case for maintaining or increasing annual budgets?
  • What are some interteam communication strategies between MSLs and sales reps at top companies?
  • What activities should MSLs focus on prior to/post product launch?

To learn more about Cutting Edge Information's medical affairs research, please visit

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