Medical Strategy: How Medical Affairs Creates Alignment & Demonstrates Value

Written By Christopher Maclafferty, PharmD., Medical Affairs Associate Consultant

Strategic Medical Affairs Planning: What do we want to achieve and how do we get there?

The development of a comprehensive Medical Affairs strategy is a simple yet crucial process in preparation for a successful launch and ongoing lifecycle management. However, beyond the process lies the “why” of developing a medical strategy. A successful strategy turns siloed teams working towards individual objectives and goals into a harmonic symphony of teams moving in an aligned direction towards success. By understanding how a strategy creates synergy among teams moving towards prioritized objectives, an organization can best position itself for success.

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The Strategic Process Includes 3 Key Steps:

Understanding the Situation

While our goals are not often clear, a thorough situational analysis can provide an understanding of what unmet medical needs exist, strengths or weaknesses the drug has in meeting these needs, and what opportunities or challenges the current and future landscape may hold. A deep understanding of these key factors provides the rationale behind how to prioritize needs cross-functionally and create alignment based on:

  • The patient journey & stakeholder involvement
  • Insights and treatment trends
  • Target product profile
  • Detailed awareness of current & emerging data
  • Thorough SWOT analysis & how the drug fills an unmet medical need

Developing the Strategic Framework

Following a thorough analysis of the landscape, an organization can begin to develop the strategy. A successful strategy is not just a list of tasks and items, but clearly defined and prioritized objectives, strategic imperatives, and critical success factors that support organizational goals. Once teams understand the rationale behind the strategy and prioritization, they can accomplish the following:

  • Clearly define goals/objectives
  • Identify the “how” or strategic imperatives
  • Remove silos and leverage partnering across medical affairs functions
  • Define critical success factors that guide tactics
  • Identify and prioritize key tactics based on impact and timing

Executing the Plan

Prioritization of tactics based on the level of impact is imperative to the success of a medical affairs organization. By aligning on the programs with the greatest potential impact, organizations can maximize limited resources. Doing so affords an organization the ability to define cross-functional dependencies and pivot to avoid anticipated obstacles.

The Valuable Impact

There is a continual and expanding need for medical affairs organizations to demonstrate value. This can be achieved by identifying clear and measurable goals and then executing a comprehensive strategy with prioritized and time bound tactics. Systematically tracking the progress of programs with metrics and demonstrating impact on the overall organization through accomplishing measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) provides an avenue to illustrate the benefit and value of the medical affairs capabilities.

Learn more about how Zipher Medical Affairs, a Lumanity business, can help your team develop an aligned medical strategy

Please contact us to learn more. Call 508.748.3007 today or fill out the form below.