Physician Views: How do neurologists value multiple sclerosis medical affairs teams – what could they be doing better?

June 16, 2014
Ref: FirstWord

Medical affairs teams are playing an increasingly critical role for pharmaceutical manufacturers. They are in a prime position to navigate the industry's continued transition from merely selling drugs to playing an integral role in the efficient workings of healthcare systems. Not only do medical affairs personnel sit at an interface between the R&D and commercial spheres, but represent the voice of the company in communication with a growing range of stakeholders.

As with other stakeholders, pharma's relationship and means of communication with physicians has evolved significantly in recent years, with medical affairs teams playing a pivotal role in this shift. As the role of the typical sales representative has diminished, medical affairs personnel have emerged, largely in response to regulatory changes that require a clear firewall between promotional and non-promotional activities.

With the role of medical affairs largely defined by their non-promotional duties (thought leader management, medical science liaison, medical education and information, clinical research operations and outcomes studies, for example) and interaction with a large number of stakeholders, pharma has endured some difficulties in measuring the success and value of these teams.

FirstWord's latest Physician Views poll seeks to gain some insight into how neurologists value the role that medical affairs personnel in the multiple sclerosis market play. Specifically we asked US and EU5-based doctors:

How important they view medical affairs teams in enabling effective communication between physicians and pharmaceutical companies?

Which activities undertaken by medical affairs teams they consider the most valuable?

What skills they value the most from a medical science liaison (MSL)?

What their preferred frequency of contact is with medical affairs professionals?

What areas they think pharmaceutical company medical affairs teams must focus on in order to deliver better service to physicians?

You will be able to read the results and analysis on Wednesday.

Results and related analysis will be published for FirstWord Pharma PLUS subscribers to read, with the opportunity for non-FirstWord Pharma PLUS subscribers to purchase these findings. To be notified when poll results and analysis become available, please click here.

See also - Physician Views Poll Results: Role of medical affairs is critical, according to oncologist feedback

As always, FirstWord would very much like to receive your feedback and suggestions.

Note: FirstWord Polls are powered by MedePolls, a fast-turnaround service to conduct instant polls of up to five questions with guaranteed samples that include physicians from dozens of specialities and over 100 markets. To conduct this poll with a different audience, or an entirely different poll, contact us at