MSL-KOL Engagement: Building Optimal Compliant Relationships

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Publication Date:
July 2015
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Delivering optimal MSL performance in terms of building strong KOL relationships remains a formidable challenge as regulations and compliance requirements continue to evolve across the US and Europe. More stringent rules that govern MSL-KOL interaction are barriers that MSL directors and managers must overcome if they are to grow value in their MSL teams.

FirstWord’s latest report, MSL-KOL Engagement: Building Optimal Compliant Relationships, provides the most current insight from leading subject experts familiar with the challenges MSLs face today. Learn from their approach to tackling the issues and about the solutions they have deployed to stay ahead. Benchmark your MSL-KOL engagement strategies, policies, processes and systems against leading pharma companies.

Get Answers to Key Questions

  • How has increased regulation changed the MSL-KOL dynamic?
  • How can the knowledge and experience of US MSLs benefit European MSLs, and vice versa?
  • Why are some pharma companies aiming for a consistent approach to MSL compliance management despite differences in rules between countries?
  • How is the evolving regulatory environment changing the skill-set and training MSLs need?
  • How are companies tracking and recording MSL-KOL interaction data?
  • How can the increased administrative burden on MSLs be reduced so they have more time to spend with KOLs?

Key Benefits

  • Understand the critical success factors for MSL-KOL engagement in an environment of increased scrutiny
  • Learn how different companies are handling the increased burden of MSL compliance and accountability
  • Gain knowledge on how varying rules across the US and Europe are driving MSL compliance decisions at a global level
  • Understand what new skills, knowledge and training MSLs are needed to excel in an evolving regulatory landscape
  • Learn how MSLs are helping KOLs manage the increased complexity that transparency brings to their relationship with pharma
  • Understand the impact of differing regulations on MSL-KOL interactions in the US and key European markets
  • Evaluate how disclosure rules have affected fair market value compensation
  • Learn how companies record and track data required under new rules

Insight and Analysis Sources

Get insights from leading pharma companies and experts including

  • UCB
  • Shire
  • Roche
  • Daiichi Sankyo
  • Scientific Advantage
  • Arx research
  • Philips Healthcare
  • A mid-sized European pharma company
  • Cubist International


Table of Contents

  • Executive summary
  • Contributors
  • Transparency, scientific exchange and financial disclosure
  • The impact of the new regulations on MSLs
    • The medical science liaison role
    • Keeping MSLs out of business decisions
    • Changes to the MSL-KOL dynamic
  • Ensuring MSL compliance with regulations and guidelines
    • Policy, accountability and training
    • The internal firewall
    • Changes to fair market value compensation
    • Recording and tracking data
    • Scientific exchange and off-label queries
    • Compliance across countries
  • MSL-KOL relationships under new rules
    • KOL reactions to transparency and disclosure
    • Informing KOLs of new rules
    • Is disclosure a good thing?
    • Critical success factors for MSL-KOL engagement
    • Metrics for measuring performance
  • Key findings


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Who Should Read This Report

This report will benefit anyone with a professional interest in the impact of new transparency regulations, especially:

  • Pharma companies looking to benchmark against competitors
  • Managers of MSLs
  • Medical Affairs Directors and their teams
  • Regulatory and compliance teams
  • Smaller and mid-size pharma companies looking to benefit from the learnings of better-resourced leading global companies


Primary research from in-depth telephone interviews with medical affairs professionals from within the pharmaceutical industry and independent consultants. Supporting secondary research, mainly from publicly-available sources of information. Contributors were selected on the basis of their knowledge, experience and expertise.

About FirstWord

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