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The Medical Affairs Function Is a Key Differentiator for Pharma Product Success in Data-Driven Healthcare Market

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Plagued by limited resources, personnel turnover, and a rigorous regulatory environment, Medical Affairs functions in the pharma industry often lack defined goals, cross-functional communication, and measurable return on investment.

However, recent benchmarking research shows that 82% of Medical Affairs functions are reporting to a Vice President level or above, up significantly from 57% in 2009. The function's growing stature – and increased investments into such key areas as health outcomes research and Medical Science Liaison activities – are proving to be game-changers for savvy companies in a data-driven healthcare market.

The new Best Practices, LLC report "Building Best-in-Class Capabilities for Medical Affairs" examines the maturation process and critical milestones for Medical Affairs functions, and details how executives are garnering a seat at the strategy table as these groups evolve beyond a "support-only" function.

This study engaged executives from 68 Medical Affairs leaders at 50 leading healthcare companies. The research also includes a longitudinal (year to year) comparison with a previous Best Practices study performed in 2009.

Key topics explored in this critical research include how Medical Affairs groups are:

  • Ensuring Medical Affairs directives come from top
  • Differentiating the function and showing value
  • Improving alignment and relationships internally
  • Increasing impact of Medical Science Liaisons and health outcomes
  • Avoiding compliance and regulatory crisis

Sample key findings include:

  • 45% of industry respondents indicated a budget increased from 2011 to 2012, but many were more tempered in their budgets expectations for 2013.
  • Nearly all Medical Affairs executives highlighted a continuous struggle with the development and retention of top personnel as well as the challenge of developing a sustainable value proposition to the organization.
  • Additional top concerns include the necessity of Medical Affairs groups competing aggressively with Commercial and Marketing departments by demonstrating value before budget squeezes impact the function.

To access the full report or to download a complimentary summary containing insights from this research, click on the following link:

The 116-page report contains valuable staffing and operational metrics and narratives relating to functional responsibility, alignment within the organization, and future trends of Medical Affairs. 

For more information on this study or other recent primary research studies, contact us at 919.403.0251 or at

Best Practices, LLC is a leading benchmarking, consulting and advisory services firm serving biopharmaceutical and medical device companies worldwide. Best Practices, LLC's clients include the top 50 global healthcare companies. The firm conducts primary research and consulting using its comprehensive proprietary benchmarking tools and analysis. The operational insights, findings and analysis form the basis for our reports, database, and advisory services to support executives in commercial and R&D operations.


SOURCE Best Practices, LLC
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