At the end of this series of podcasts, the participant should be able to:
· Discuss the functions and activities of key internal partners
· Identify potential areas for compliant collaboration by MSLs with key internal partners
Following is an automated transcription provided by otter.ai. Please excuse inaccuracies.
Welcome to the Medical Affairs Professional Society MSL field medical focus area working groups podcast series, entitled field medical stakeholders Partnering for today and tomorrow. In this fifth podcast we will discuss government affairs. I’m Katherine Gan. I’m a member of the map MSL field medical focus area working group, and I’ll be the moderator for this podcast. Currently, I’m an independent consultant in Medical Affairs. Having spent my 30 year career as an MSL and MSL manager and an MSL trainer. Our legal disclaimer is as follows. The views expressed in this recording are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect on the opinions of MAPS, or the companies with which they are affiliated. This presentation is for informational purposes only, and is not intended as legal or regulatory advice. We encourage you to engage in conversation about partnering with field medical stakeholders with other MAPS members via the community portal on the MAPS website. Simply log in with the email address and password associated with your MAPS account and click on the discussion tab. Then scroll down to field medical to post a question or reviewing previous postings. The objectives for this series of podcasts are that at the end of this series, the participant will be able to one discuss the functions and activities of key internal stakeholders and to identify potential areas for compliant collaboration by MSL with key internal stakeholders. I’d like to thank today’s panelists for sharing their subject matter expertise with the MAPS membership. speaking today, our Amanda Logue oncology, global MSL excellent director at AstraZeneca. And Amanda will be our Interviewer And Paul Naish, currently director UK policy at AstraZeneca. Prior to this position, he was the global director, oncology, government affairs and policy at AstraZeneca. And Paul’s our interviewee. Amanda, if I turn this over to you, could you kick us off by briefly providing information about your current position, how long in the industry, things like that, please?
Sure. Kathy, thanks very much for inviting us along. So as Kathy said, I’m Amanda. I recently I joined AstraZeneca just coming up to five years as the global MSL excellence head and a lead a team of MSL excellence directors focusing on oncology and hematology within AstraZeneca. Prior to that, my career was within Sanofi and in oncology Medical Affairs as an MSL, MSL manager, and associate medical director prior to joining AstraZeneca. And I’m really pleased to introduce my my colleague, Paul, and we’ve had many a water cooler conversation about lots of big hot topics. And so I thought Paul would be a great person to speak to us today around how medical can partner with government affairs. Paul, would you like to introduce yourself?
Thanks, Amanda. And thanks for Thanks for having me. Yeah, many a water cooler conversation in the past few years, but I’ve been in Astra Zeneca AZ if you will, for about five or six years now in global roles, and are currently in a UK focused role. And my career started off in politics actually in the UK. But the vast chunk of the last 20 years has been in AstraZeneca in Novo Nordisk for quite a period, and also in a range of consultancies, working on health policy and government affairs. So I’ve been doing the same old thing for quite a long time.
So you’re an expert on this topic, then that’s great. We’ve got the right man for the job. So Paul, can you tell me what’s difference between government global government affairs and say, a country role in the UK or the US?
Yeah, it’s a great question. Although it’s always made me laugh, but it’s a question that we don’t really ask as many other global functions. When you say you’re in global government affairs, people assume that you’re dealing with some kind of global government that no one’s told them about yet. But just like most global functions, there are above country organizations to deal with, to discuss with to, to work with, but generally, it’s supporting colleagues like my my current role in in in national roles in the work they do with national governments, or, you know, that might also include regional levels when you’re working with people like the European Commission, or in my friends in the US, colleagues working at the Fed. We’ll have a look at the state level, anyone at the core of it really working with governments in the decisions they make and the actions they take. And that’s, that’s the core of it. But as we’ve discussed over the water coolers, there can be quite a lot more to it than than just the government’s and their legislation.
And so I guess you you, you would assume, then your your external customers are policymakers? And, and, and the like, Who are your internal customers, though?
Well, internally, I mean, we work very closely with the brand teams, you know, in lots of conversations about really trying to understand the evidence around the current patient pathway, what could be different, that’s obviously frequently a conversation closely with medical as well. We work with market access very closely, whether that’s around pricing issues, but also around sort of building some of those value cases for how care can and should be different. And, but, but I mentioned medical already, I I’ve certainly found through my career Medical Affairs is a function that that really goes hand in hand with the work of government affairs and policy, I found in the word policy there because, you know, Government Affairs at its core is working with those governments. But we use different terms to describe the policy work that sits sort of broader than that. And that’s engaging with essentially anyone who’s trying to shape health systems and the delivery of care, and will often go hand in hand with medical because medical might try to inform input to if you like, clinical policy, you know, in its simplest sense, inputting to and then educating around guidelines. While we’re trying to shape discussion about how can those, how can the delivery of the care according to those guidelines, be invested in supported, make sure there’s enough capacity, and maybe even some would say increasingly so. And incentivized and encouraged by the health systems. And that’s a big topic, we probably don’t have time for today, but, you know, decisions of clinicians versus how they’re encouraged and directed by protocols and, and system priorities. But But those are the sort of the, the internal stakeholders that I find myself working with most closely. When I say medical, day to day, it’s the office based headquarters, Medical Affairs colleagues that are really some of our closest collaborators. So what what do you know about what’s your understanding of the MSL role? And how do you see those field medical teams partnering with government affairs? Well, I’ll make an admission here that that some of those listening like grown up that, um, I’ve had to go on a bit of a journey to understand what an MSL is, across my career, I think for a long time, I sort of had ms cells parked in that medical field force blackbox. They probably talk about studies and maybe do some clinical trial recruitment. And that’s about it. And, and I’ll be honest, for a long time, that was just sort of an assumption. But it’s changed a lot over the last few years. And I think, particularly actually, in my last five years, and after a real road to dramatic road to road to Damascus moment that happened for me when I joined AstraZeneca, actually. And although it could have happened to any company, I’m sure. And that was around Can I tell you this quick story is that just just an experience I had that really opened my eyes to the way Ms. Cells really do and can work. And we were doing some work around a new disease area where there was a whole new class of treatment being introduced. And, and patient pathways really weren’t ready for them. And I was in a global policy role. I was looking to essentially actually I was looking for to find some senior clinicians who could help explain to policymakers what this disease was, and what treating it look like. And an MSL in the UK volunteered an individual that she knew. But she wasn’t just volunteering a person who you know, a name to fill a box. And she was linking me up with someone who was already doing some if you like policy work, I’m doing air quotes here that of course no one can see. He was doing some work with the national system in the UK. But the MSL also knew that he had a real passion for changing the world. Like we always talked about the water cooler. And he wanted to not just be a leading trial list or leading physician, he wanted to be an advocate, but hadn’t yet really found the channels to go down to make it happen. So when she linked him up to me, we developed quite a partnership. And then he became someone who was just this massive change agent and has continued to be so and, and, and really started to, to corral his peers into saying, you know, look, the science is great, but it’s no good if the patients can’t benefit from it. And we need to make these changes, we need to work out what needs to change. And for me that, you know, that came from a very knowing connection from that MSL thinking, that’s the person and I, I need to get him to a new platform, I need to support him to have his voice heard. And it really opened my eyes to the way MSLs work. You’re not just a megaphone through a publication. You’re a lot more than that.
Yeah. That’s a really incredible, powerfully powerful story, Paul, you’re talking about the the MSL really acting as a catalyst to be a partnership driver, and be able to be that connector. Think when we think about policies and systems, it seems really big. And sometimes the solution is just really simply as connecting to people to have a conversation. So what advice would you give to ourselves out there? Who can to be a passive driver with with government, their government affairs colleagues?
Well, I, first of all, I think I’d want to say that I’m sure everyone listening could give me far more advice than I could give them. But you’ve asked me so I’ll answer. The I think, first of all, if anyone out there is still operating in the space that I was up until maybe five years ago, or thinking that these are two separate worlds that need never meet. First of all, jump straight beyond that, and get to know your government affairs colleagues. Or they might be called public affairs or policy or who knows what they might be called in, in your organization. So I think getting to know them. First is key. And starting starting triggering some of these conversations like we’ve referred now several times to the watercooler conversations you and I have had over the years, and and i think then also find ways to discuss what you can actually do for each other. I think a lot of that’s around thinking about the trends in health systems, thinking about the themes that are on people’s minds, I wouldn’t I wouldn’t advocate for a second MSL start talking politics with their customers. Politics is my job. But but they will know that there’s a doctor here who maybe she’s passionate about inequalities. And anyone listening at the moment can’t miss the fact that inequality is is just the biggest topic at the moment, I’d suggest that actually, for many of us, were even carrying it closer to our hearts than COVID. At the moment. It is a massive issue for health systems. And if there’s a clinician who’s really passionate about doing something about inequality as well, you may find that your government affairs colleagues talking to government about that as well. And so there’s a connection that can be made there. And just like the story I told there were collaborations that can be found. So I think it’s it’s understanding the clinicians, I’m sure every MSL listening does spotting those sort of themes of interest, and then finding a way to sort of offer them up as, as themes that could become discussions and discussions can become can become collaborations and collaborations can bring about change. So I think it is that I think it is does start as you said, with a one to one conversation, it starts small, but get to know each other and get to feel where those small conversations could lead. So you’re watching out for the opportunities.
Thanks, Paul, I always, always enjoy our conversations. And so I would like to just say, as a final thoughts, and two RMS cells out there, being naturally curious, and channel and harness that scientist inside ourselves. And and, and really try to connect with our conditions to understand what are their drivers that sometimes these conversations go beyond our science and our data. So Paul, thank you so much for your time, and I’ll hand it over to Kathy.
Thanks, Amanda. Pleasure was ever. So thank you very much, Amanda and Paul, for participating today. And what Paul was talking about working with MSLs and how government affairs and MSLs can partner is one of the reasons I wanted to have someone from government government affairs participate Because that’s been my experience when I’ve had a chance to work with government affairs, and I, fortunately was able to get that experience very early in my career, and so have been able to carry that knowledge through these 30 years of being in the MSL role. So, Paul, thank you so much for basically solidifying what I’ve known for years. And I really think that this has been in line with our learning objectives, where now our participants should have a better understanding of the role and function of government affairs. And well and how the MSL may compliantly interact with government affairs in this partnership. This has been the fifth podcast in a series on the topic of medical field medical stakeholders Partnering for today and tomorrow. And if you’re a MAPS member, thank you for supporting MAPS. If you’re not yet a MAPS member, and would like access to additional resources in this area, please visit the MAPS website to explore joining. And that website is Medical Affairs.org forward slash membership. This concludes the podcast.