The development of a drug or medical device – products life cycle – is a lengthy process that involves research, clinical trials, and input from professional peers. Pharmaceutical companies and health care suppliers can spend months and even years on the process before putting a life-changing product on the market.
The medical science liaison is an important part of this industry process. Their role is key to the life cycle of a medical product before it reaches a hospital, doctor’s office or rehabilitation facility, so the demand for these specialists is high in the industry. It is worth pursuing medical science liaison training as a potential career path to meet the demand.
One on One
The importance of the medical science liaison cannot be underestimated. Medical providers considering a new drug or therapeutic device must often access volumes of data, analytical reports, and trial research papers before deciding what to recommend to their patients. The providers often rely on this data rather than meet with industry sales representatives.
The medical science liaison puts the emphasis on serving as the point of contact between the manufacturer and the health care provider or physician. The liaison has a familiarity and extensive knowledge of the product, and uses strong relationships built over time to discuss it on a one-on-one basis.
This liaison works with the companies that make the drugs and conducts the pharmaceutical and biotechnology research from the beginning, when the product or device is in the research and development stage. The liaison’s feedback on the new drug or device to the company, its stakeholders, and key influencers like doctors can determine the overall success of the product.
The knowledge, expertise, and input of the medical science liaison affects products life cycle. Manufacturers can determine from the liaison if their product is ready for the public. The liaison’s contribution can also determine if more time is needed before the product is made available to health care providers and their patients.
Position of Responsibility
The highly specialized nature of a position in medical affairs requires that you should possess advanced academic credentials, preferably a doctorate in pharmacy or the life sciences. You should also have strong communication and interpersonal skills essential to building and maintaining the relationships with influencers in the medical industry.
The medical affairs salary is a lucrative one if you are interested in a career in the field. But more important, the position is a role of responsibility in the health care and pharmaceutical industry. If this is what you want, medical science liaison training may be for you.