SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

March 09, 2016 11:44 ET

Medical Science Liaisons Spend Nearly One-Fourth of Time Meeting Key Opinion Leaders in Person

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC --(Marketwired - March 09, 2016) - Meeting face-to-face with key opinion leaders (KOLs) occupies approximately one quarter of a medical science liaison's (MSL) time and serves as the foundation for relationship building. These quality relationships are contributing abundant, yet immeasurable, value to a company, according to primary intelligence provider Cutting Edge Information.

MSLs can contribute the insights gained from their interactions with KOLs to a variety of strategic decisions across various departments, including clinical and market access. Despite this valuable input, 63 percent of surveyed teams report difficulty in quantifying the impact that MSLs have on their medical affairs programs. Metrics -- like the average time spent in face-to-face meetings and the number of KOL feedback surveys collected -- have been created to prove that they complete fundamental, beneficial activities. However, according to Capture and Communicate the Full Value of Medical Science Liaisons: Refining Global MSL Strategy with Compelling KPIs these qualitative measurements do not reveal the true amount or value of quality relationships.

"MSLs are perhaps the only company employees who can echo the voices of each of the most important customers: patients, physicians and pharmacists," said Natalie DeMasi, senior analyst at Cutting Edge Information. "Frequent interaction with industry leaders has enabled MSLs to better understand market dynamics, including where the market is going, how competitors plan to address market changes, and where their own company strategy fits in."

Capture and Communicate the Full Value of Medical Science Liaisons, available at provides MSL teams with key performance indicators (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 in-depth benchmarking study include:

  • How exactly 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?
  • What are some performance metrics that top MSL teams use to measure value?
  • What is the ideal team size, in terms of staffing?

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

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