Pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t be able to do what they do well without the help of medical science liaisons, most commonly called MSLs. Medical Science Liaisons provide the expertise to disseminate scientific and clinical information to the medical community, which in turns enables innovation in drug development and manufacturing. But what do they do exactly?
The Resident Clinical Disease and Drug Expert
Knowledge really is their power. A medical liaison will have a thorough set of knowledge and will essentially be an open book source for pharmaceutical thought leaders and health care practitioners (HCPs) having questions or concerns about a particular approved product of a drug in development. A liaison can answer the following questions on the job: how drugs are designed, what pathway a drug targets, how the drug works, how to prevent or treat a negative side effect, and more. A medical liaison will also answer questions about clinical trials for a specific drug, whether those trials are from their own company or from another company, and they’ll be able to make connections between drugs and specific patient profiles.
So, in short, MSLs take on the role of knowing a wide breadth of knowledge within their field in order to transfer scientific knowledge from the pharmaceutical organizations to medical professionals, and ultimately, for patients to get better care.
Specialization Is Key
Experienced MSLs have accumulated tremendous scientific knowledge garnered through the input from their education, experiences, employer and from their exchange with industry thought leaders and physicians. For instance, a gastroenterologist expertise would mean that a medical science liaison is better equipped to address drugs that treat intestinal conditions and issues such as IBS, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease.
A medical science liaison is a huge asset to their organization. Medical drug development would be hindered without their guidance, expertise, and insights. The exchanges and relationships MSLs build with the medical community help pharmaceutical companies develop more effective treatments for a wide range of conditions.