The Medical Affairs Professional Society (MAPS) is pleased to share our October 2021 Benchmarking Report. This Report is based on findings from 21 leading organizations representing the Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Medical and Diagnostic Device sectors regarding their organizational structure, budget, and operations.
Survey Design: MAPS’ Ambassador Alliance, representing 19 of the 25 Industry Partner organizations to MAPS, brainstormed the Benchmarking topic. A small group of IPP Ambassadors then met to finalize the survey questions. MAPS would like to thank the following IPP Ambassadors for their time and contributions:
Jaime Blais, Head of Medical and Healthcare Excellence, Janssen
Søren Buur, Director, Head of Medical Affairs Operations, Lundbeck
Deena Goldman, Vice President, Medical Communications (former)
Karen Jursca, Director, Operational Excellence, Teva
Survey Analysis: MAPS would like to thank Tim Mikhelashvili, CEO & Co- Founder, Amedea Pharma, Inc. for developing the data analysis of the survey results.
Respondents: MAPS selected one representative from 45 organizations including 15 Biotech companies, 16 Medical & Diagnostic Device companies, and 14 Pharmaceutical companies. Of the 45 representatives invited to participate, 21 respondents completed the survey. All responses were anonymous, meaning the self-reported industry type reflected in the baseline data overview may not align with the breakdown of the invitees (14 Pharma, 15 Biotech, 16 Medical & Diagnostic Device).
Companies invited to participate:
Alexion, Amgen, Apellis, BioMarin, CSL Behring, Incyte, Ipsen, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Lundbeck, Novo Nordisk, Regeneron, Sage Therapeutics, UCB, United Therapeutics, Vertex, Abbott, Baxter International, Becton Dickinson, Cardinal Health, Edwards Lifesciences, Fresenius, Haemonetics, J&J Med Device, Leica Biosystems, Medtronic, Novocure, Philips, Siemens, Stryker, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Varian, AbbVie, Astellas, AstraZeneca, BMS, Eisai, GSK, Janssen, Kyowa Kirin, Lilly, Otsuka, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda, Teva
Stark differences in MA approaches to field deployment despite most of the respondents reporting 50 or even more products approved in their pipelines.
- Possible explanations:
- Life-cycle of assets in the pipeline
- Phase of launch
- Communication of MA value across the organization
Future studies needed to determine the:
- Size of the field MA staff in relation to the Commercial organization
- Ratio of field MA staff per therapeutic area, product, or scientific thought leader “customer”
- Timing of deployment in relation to launch
MA BUDGET CONSIDERATIONS
MA still receives a low budget globally in comparison to other functions despite critical responsibilities of evidence generation and communication.
Most of the activities it sponsors are in-house, with outsourcing represented by about 10% of its budget.
MA is doing more with less as the capabilities and specialties continue to grow.
- the need to partner with new third-party solution providers and
- further analysis of productivity and efficiency of operations in the future to keep up with other functions of the organization and the rapidly changing ecosystems.
There were slight notable differences between time and budget allocation between small and large companies.
- Namely, larger MA teams reported spending more time and budget on Operations and Outsourcing, particularly in the areas of Medical Strategy and Medical Information.
- While Insights and Medical Communications functions were more represented in small size MA organizations, HEOR (Health Economics Outcomes Research), Digital Capabilities, and Field Medical were more pronounced in larger vs. small size companies.
Time and resources spent on analyzing MA operations were low among the primarily large, well-structured organizations represented in the sample, and even lower among the small-sized organizations with 250 or fewer MA employees.
Because evidence clearly indicates that long-term success of a launch heavily depends on its early uptake in the first few months, the operations and algorithms of long-range planning particularly related to launch activities may need to be revisited and structured more extensively.
LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT
Results that most of the respondents offer a career development and succession planning in MA are encouraging.
Lack of overall responses (only 13 of 21) describing practices related to training, LMS, shadowing, or upskilling as well as relatively little time spent on such activities may be quite disappointing, and reflect another area of improvement.
Lack of a difference in learning and development within compared to outside of MA, in large organizations with over 50 approved products in a function primarily employed by doctoral-level health care professionals advancing cutting edge science, suggests a critical area to be explored by global MA organizations as an opportunity to differentiate and elevate its value proposition overall.
LIMITATIONS AND FOLLOW UP STUDIES
The survey results demonstrate a relatively small sample of global MA leaders in primarily large organizations with 5000+ employees, although small, start-up, specialty companies with significantly less structure or resources looking to scale their presence, pipelines, and operations may find the findings relevant when mapping out their long-term strategic planning and goals.
A larger, more diverse sample of MA leaders with a larger representation from different areas of the globe outside of the U.S., employed across a more variable range of companies in terms of its size and therapeutic areas could provide a more complete depiction of current trends and more differences in strategies worth considering.
Survey indicated exploratory findings that may warrant more detailed information in follow up global MA studies to gather new data about the nature and timing of field-based engagement and launch planning, specific types of operations, and formats or methods of learning and development.
The survey reveals the growing multitude of capabilities and direct contributions of global Medical Affairs organizations as well as an important variability in the resources or limitations they have at their disposal to deliver productivity, continued learning and development, and successful launch strategies which may be explored in future studies.