The disparity between the knowledge handled by researchers of new drugs and that possessed by stakeholders in local regulatory agencies continues to grow in the modern pharmaceutical industry.
Medical Science Liaisons (MSL) have become pertinent to addressing the above disconnect, and sponsors and CROs are actively recruiting such talents. MSLs’ roles continue to expand where they already exist, such as in the oncology fields.
The function of a Medical Science Liaison
As therapeutic experts, MSLs help communicates complex scientific knowledge to other medical professionals to accomplish the R&D process. Not only have the MSLs begun to convey drug-based scientific outcomes to the public, but also engage the regulatory officials productively. Also, they participate in the hiring of key opinion leaders (KOLs). Thus, MSLs link clinicians, R&D, and the marketing team.
Strength of a successful Medical Science Liaison
Technical and interpersonal skills are key attributes that underpin the functions of an MSL. They work with various experts daily, who have different depths and breadth of knowledge in their specialties.
MSLs liaise with other professionals and patient advocacy groups, collecting invaluable information for future business. In doing so, their demand is skyrocketing.
Role of a Medical Science Liaison
MSL’s functions are often customer-oriented and may traverse the following areas:
- Engage with KOLs, and facilitate their participation in corporate medical activities
- Help the marketing team in positioning the product within the research community
- Disseminate information about a new development within the medical community
- Offer scientific and medical education to key stakeholders
- Facilitate local HTA process to increase patients’ access to drugs after launch.2
Medical Science Liaisons During the Product Development Lifecycle
MSLs often liaise with regulatory bodies to retrieve essential scientific information; thus, they have been considered part of the post-clinical trial phase. However, MSL can provide valuable insights during the drug development cycle and may be essential in formulating a comprehensive medical strategy.
Early Research and Development
MSL can influence the KOLs’ interest in the future product before the onset of a clinical trial. They can convey valuable production information, such as the anticipated strengths and the mode of action. Such an initiative can help the MSL collect essential data for strategic planning and the response of patients/clinicians towards the new product.
MSL can be essential in three stages of a product development cycle@
- They can uphold the pre-established relationships with KOLs and collaborate to enhance their grasp of the product. Moreover, they can bridge any existing pre-launch information gap
- MSL can share vital information with the KOLs at the launch stage, including the dosages and indications of the drug. Being part of the medical planning stage helps steer the drug to market success
- Lastly, MSL plays a critical role in the implementation of investigator-led research plans during the post-launch stage. Here, they can create product awareness and inform the public about the related publications.
Advantages of an MSL in Clinical Trial Process
Although MSLs may be expensive, such staff present enormous benefits to the clinical trial process. Some of the advantages include strategic flexibility through timely deployment of medical resources and increasing overall public effect. They are receptive to new ideas and prioritize a firm’s core portfolio.
MSLs can also be important in marketing the product; thus, ensuring efficient resource use. They reinforce the operations of medical affairs by adapting to the shifting market conditions. MSLs can create a significant impact on the functions of a firm and subsequent marketing of the drug.
Lastly, MSLs can enforce compliance with the relevant legislations due to their broad knowledge. There is a need for all the staff to understand their roles and collaborate to register optimum results.
The Role of Dokumeds
As a Medical services CRO, Dokumeds offers high-end medical support during the entire drug development process. Dokumeds has prioritized the recruitment of MSLs and can tailor the services offered by such staff to sponsors’ needs. The company helps sponsors select suitable MSLs and find the best model to achieve optimum results.