SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

August 12, 2015 09:00 ET

Medical Science Liaison Salaries: Large and Mid-Sized Pharmaceutical Organizations Surpass Small Companies as Highest Annual Wage-Providers, According to Cutting Edge Information

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - August 12, 2015) - Salary data from a recent study by life sciences intelligence firm Cutting Edge Information reveals that the medical science liaison (MSL) landscape has become more competitive. With the exception of small pharmaceutical companies, surveyed groups reported an uptick in annual salaries across all MSL experience levels.

By comparison, MSLs at small pharmaceutical companies received similar compensation between 2012 and 2014. MSLs with less than five years of experience actually received less compensation per year in 2014 than in 2012 among surveyed companies. Consequently, large and mid-sized pharmaceutical companies have, in effect, replaced small companies as the chief providers of competitive MSL compensation rates.

In 2012, annual MSL salaries for individuals with no experience at small, Top 25 and Top 10 companies averaged $105,000 per year, $96,000 per year and $84,000 per year, respectively. In 2014, annual MSL salaries for individuals at small, Top 25 and Top 10 companies averaged $103,000 per year, $106,000 per year and $107,000 per year, respectively.

"Small companies no longer pay a premium to attract talented MSLs," said Natalie DeMasi, senior research analyst at Cutting Edge Information. "Instead, larger companies have had to increase wages to prevent talented employees from jumping ship for higher-paying jobs at smaller companies."

Cutting Edge Information's recent report "Capture and Communicate the Full Value of Medical Science Liaisons: Refining Global MSL Strategy with Compelling KPIs" shows that in 2014, small companies report relatively unchanged average salaries across their in-house MSLs. Yet as the charts show, these rates are no longer the highest among surveyed company types.

The report, available at, features benchmarks and best practices for MSL executives to define key performance indicators, compare team resources across regions and therapeutic areas, and provide competitive compensation for liaisons at varying experience levels. The report will allow MSL executives to:

  • Track quantitative, KOL-driven metrics to assess MSL value.
  • Implement processes for cross-team communication among MSL groups to share best practices and overcome challenges.
  • Compensate MSLs based on experience level and indication complexity.
  • Track MSL activities to enhance companywide visibility.
  • Expand existing MSL responsibilities to support cross-functional objectives.

For more information on Cutting Edge Information's report offerings, please visit

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