SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

October 12, 2016 09:04 ET

World-Class Medical Affairs: Team Location Impacts Responsibilities

80% of medical affairs teams around the world are responsible for medical education

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - October 12, 2016) - Industry research on global medical affairs responsibilities finds that regional location impacts which responsibilities each team oversees.

A study released by Cutting Edge Information revealed that 80% of surveyed pharmaceutical medical affairs teams claimed responsibility for their companies' medical education subfunction. Medical education is the most common subfunction housed under medical affairs, with medical information and MSL teams close behind at 79% each. However, at least two-thirds of surveyed medical affairs teams oversee thought leader development, medical grants, medical publications and investigator-initiated trials (IITs).

According to the study, Medical Affairs Management: Igniting Innovative Global Strategies, medical affairs responsibilities vary widely based on the teams' regional scope. Even though only 67% of all surveyed teams are responsible for thought leader development, this percentage jumps to 95% for global teams surveyed. The data suggest that KOL targeting, identification and development occurs on the global level.

"Medical affairs encompasses a wide range of activities, and each team may involve a different combination of subfunctions," said Natalie DeMasi, research team leader at Cutting Edge Information. "There are also noticeable differences when comparing the responsibilities of all teams versus those at the global level."

For example, thought leader development operates more logically within a centralized organization under a company's global team. This structure supports the larger organization's need to hire thought leaders to speak at events around the world.

Among surveyed global teams, investigator initiated trials and medical education are equally common (90%) subfunctions. As with thought leader development, many companies choose to conduct these activities at the global level. Similarly, Phase 4 trials are most popular among global teams surveyed at 55%. Other medical affairs subfunctions consist of:

  • Payer support
  • Medical/literature review
  • Epidemiology
  • Medical affairs systems and operations
  • Medical affairs product management
  • Training/education.

Medical Affairs Management: Igniting Innovative Global Strategies, available at, analyzes medical affairs subfunction budgets, staffing and outsourcing data by team region. Report highlights include:

  • Data showing spending per supported product and medical affairs budgets per FTE.
  • Data illustrating the number of outsourced medical affairs FTEs.
  • Budget allocations per year for total medical affairs budget (over a three-year period, including 2016).
  • Profiles illustrating 12 medical affairs teams' resource allocations.

For more information about Cutting Edge Information's primary benchmarking research on medical affairs or drug safety, please visit

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