How Are Medical Affairs Organizations Proving Their Value?

Written by Erin Amato, MS

Value and Impact of the Scientific Voice

Medical Affairs (MA) serves as a core scientific voice for the organization. With high competition and limited budget, it has grown increasingly more critical for Medical to meet their goals and key milestones at year-end. While the MA function has become more data-driven, its success still depends on maintaining a patient-centric and forward-thinking approach. Part of this success involves demonstration of value and impact, while utilizing limited resources efficiently.

Benchmarking Studies

In a step to better understand the value proposition of MA, various benchmarking studies were performed to determine best practices for Medical Affairs Excellence. In summary, these studies have shown that Successful Medical Affairs organizations have the following: 1-3

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Powerful internal and external communication

Defined and clear objectives

Outcome-based metrics that align with business objectives

External stakeholder satisfaction as the most common metric segment

Metrics and KPIs

Although these studies provide guidance for Medical Affairs organizations, the value proposition of MA ultimately boils down to establishing clear metrics that are actively communicated, as well as key performance indicators (KPIs) and assessments that are routinely measured in order to demonstrate Medical’s value to senior leadership. Ultimately, KPIs have the most impact in moving an organization forward.

Metrics track the status of a specific process or activity, whereas KPIs measure values that show how effective an organization is at accomplishing business objectives.

In MA, metrics and KPIs are developed for each function and are aligned with the global medical objectives across the broader organization. To put this into context, a few metric and KPI examples are highlighted below for the Medical Director, Scientific Communications, and Research functions:

Metrics

  • Key Opinion Leader (KOL) Engagement
    • # interaction with Tier 1
      KOLs – % 0x, % 1x, % 2x
    • # interaction with Tier 2
      KOLs – % 0x, % 1x, % 2x
  • # Advisory boards complete

KPIs

  • 3 insights (i.e., derived from KOL engagements and advisory boards)
    • How are these insights used?
    • How are these insights communicated to the team?
    • How do these insights affect/shape the medical strategy?

Metrics

  • Primary Publications
    • # of planned vs. submitted
    • # of acceptances

KPIs

  • Strong share of voice
  • Journal/article impact factor

Metrics

  • # Investigator-sponsored trials (ISTs) that meet clinical milestones
  • # Real world evidence trials (RWE) endorsed per month
  • Trial Enrollment (actual vs. projected):
    • % enrolled
    • Last patient in (LPI)
    • Trial report

KPIs

  • RWE better informs patient and physician treatment decisions
  • RWE and ISTs find new signals and opportunities for life cycle management
  • IST and RWE data advise clinical development planning and guidelines

Steps for Building a Value-Impact System

Not all MA organizations are identical; however, every MA team member should be working together to execute on the medical strategy and achieve the business objectives delivered by senior leadership.

The following six-step framework can be implemented to demonstrate Medical’s value:

  1. Business and MA objectives are defined.
  2. Medical identifies the strategic needs within each therapeutic area and defines tactics to meet the MA objectives.
  3. Milestones are set to meet the KPIs and metrics that are reviewed on a quarterly basis for each MA function.
  4. MA operations develops a simple process that can be easily utilized and maintained for collection and visualization of the metrics/KPIs against the strategic needs.
  1. The MA operations team works with the functions to develop a cadence for updates to ensure the identified milestones are met and flag where there may be potential risk.
  2. The system is rolled-up into realtime dashboards and interactive platforms that can visually depict the current status for monthly or quarterly business reviews to senior leadership.

This closely orchestrated ensemble ensures that a multifaceted Medical Affairs team will not only meet fundamental strategic objectives and demonstrate the most value to their organization, but also deliver the right drug, to the right patient, at the right time.

Demonstrate MA's Value Proposition: Objectives, Strategic Needs, Milestones, Collection & Visualization, Cadence for Updates, Business Reviews

Learn more about how Medical Affairs Organizations can prove their value.

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