COVID-19: Best Practices & the Future of Medical Affairs – Medical Affairs as a Whole

Medical Affairs Best Practices During COVID-19

COVID-19: Best Practices & the Future of Medical Affairs – Medical Affairs as a Whole

May 10, 2020

As experts with a deep knowledge of our medicines, medical technologies, and therapeutic area science, Medical Affairs is uniquely placed to help the industry and healthcare community navigate through these unusual times. While remaining flexible and agile to meet changing needs and requirements today, we can also begin to look forward to see how to flourish in the new normal.

Turning challenges into opportunities

Medical Affairs always puts patients first, and that will not change. But there are opportunities for improvement that can make the most of the current situation.

  • This is a make-or-break scenario for relationships—ensure your interactions are highly relevant and healthcare professionals (HCPs) will remember you in the future
  • HCPs may be more willing to engage with Medical Affairs as a trusted source of medical and scientific information
  • Conversations should be more focused and impactful
  • Expedite reviews of research proposals to ensure patient access to medicines and medical devices
  • Look for opportunities to work cross-company to meet the needs of patients, HCPs, and professional societies


Best practices during the pandemic

We are all getting accustomed to working virtually—here are some best practices to help you and your colleagues:

  • Encourage, rather than demand, virtual HCP interactions
  • Utilize vendors with expertise in virtual meetings to convert face-to-face meetings such as advisory boards
  • Be flexible and tolerant should technical issues arise during an engagement
  • Master the four Cs of virtual engagement: CONFIDENCE, CONTROL, CREDIBILITY, and CONNECTIVITY
  • Be aware of meeting fatigue, for yourself and others


Be Medical Affairs at its best!

  • Stay connected with your strategic partners, internal and external
  • Identify and ensure delivery of data and medical information that your HCPs and patients need
  • Liaise with professional societies and patient organizations to ensure external stakeholder needs are met
  • Help your HCPs not to feel overwhelmed—give them the information they need when they need it, and no more



How Medical Affairs as a profession emerges from this crisis depends on us and our actions. We can anticipate some longer-term changes that will help us flourish in the new normal, allowing us to do even more good for patients, HCPs, and medicine.

  • Identify what information your HCPs and their patients will need in the post-COVID world, and work to obtain and disseminate it
  • Continue to keep your interactions with HCPs focused and valuable
  • Consider what pressures your HCPs will have after the pandemic and how you can best support them
  • Continue to keep patients at the center of everything you do


Based on presentations given by Dr. Charlotte Kremer, Dr. Robin Winter-Sperry, Dr. Tamas Koncz, Dr. John Pracyk, Dr. Peter Piliero, and Dr. Joseph Eid during the MAPS Global Town Hall webinar on April 21, 2020.