“The pandemic has made it more difficult to engage with physicians in a meaningful way. Sending them a pdf of our recent study and getting on a Zoom call just doesn’t move the needle anymore”
This challenge, articulated by a VP of Medical Affairs, is further exacerbated by the fact that support functions like Medical Affairs are seen as cost centres that often experience budget cuts and layoffs in lean times.
The pandemic has also put a more pointed focus on questions like:
🤔 Beyond activity-based KPIs (e.g., number of papers published), how do we structure and communicate business-impact KPIs?
🤔 How do we track the effectiveness of our MSLs?
🤔 How do we quantify the impact and effectiveness of our content, channels and the various initiatives we’re running?
🤔 How can we prioritize which physician to disproportionately focus our resources on and generate the content they care about (hint: it's not about your drugs or the latest efficacy study published)?
🤔 What capabilities do we need to build/buy/partner to win in a post-pandemic era?
Below is a non-exhaustive list of existing and emerging Medical Affairs capabilities and technologies that we've been piloting with clients (often adapted and customized from other industries).
While most require an agile and experimental mindset to deploy, we're already seeing a clearer line-of-sight from activity to business impact emerge.
I'm optimistic that with the right tools, processes and mindset, the important role of Medical Affairs can continue to be a strong voice at the strategic table.