SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

July 07, 2011 09:36 ET

Medical Affairs Teams Add Health Economics Responsibilities

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwire - Jul 7, 2011) - A new study by Cutting Edge Information finds that 35% of drug companies' medical affairs teams have added health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) responsibilities to their role.

"Although it is still an emerging trend, the addition of HEOR responsibilities to medical affairs teams is a tremendous indicator of how the industry will conduct business in the future," said Jason Richardson, president of Cutting Edge Information.

As healthcare costs rise around the world, executives interviewed for the new study said drug research companies must be ready to provide much more finely detailed patient outcomes data to prove the value of their products. The health economics, or pharmacoeconomics, function might be the most logical new group to align itself under the medical affairs umbrella.

The health economics group acts as an impartial bridge between the clinical development organization and the commercial side of the pharmaceutical business -- a role familiar to medical affairs groups. Furthermore, the two departments already coordinate their activities and goals because medical affairs teams disseminate clinical data and health economics information to various stakeholders in the medical community.

Cutting Edge Information's study, "Medical Affairs: Effective Global Resource Allocation," includes best practices, benchmark data and performance metrics collected from 20 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Trend data show that the bond between medical affairs and health economics is growing stronger.

According to the data, 58% of drug companies' U.S. medical affairs teams have some HEOR responsibility, compared to 40% of global medical affairs teams. Only 27% of country-level teams have HEOR responsibility. Overall, these data translate to 35% of medical affairs teams responsible for HEOR activities. Furthermore, U.S. medical affairs budgets increased 5% from 2010 to 2011 for HEOR activities. As these two groups work alongside each other more than ever, it may only be a matter of time before medical affairs is a primary reporting line for health economics.

"Medical Affairs: Effective Global Resource Allocation" ( ) is designed to help all biopharmaceutical companies, regardless of size or geography, distribute medical resources efficiently while providing top-tier support for all stakeholders. Benchmark findings from medical affairs executives focus on:

  • Building global, US and affiliate medical budgets
  • Balancing staffing and spending demands across different subfunctions
  • Understanding trends in medical function outsourcing

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