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Future of Medical Affairs: “Third Strategic Pillar”

“Third Strategic Pillar” of the pharmaceutical industry

medical affairs future

Learn what McKinsey & Company has to say about the future of Medical Affairs, “A Vision for Medical Affairs in 2025”. 

Are you ready for the future of Medical Affairs? In A vision for Medical Affairs in 2025, a new report released by McKinsey & Company, Medical Affairs is cited as the “third strategic pillar”[1], right along with R&D, and commercial & market access1 in the pharmaceutical industry. Essentially, Medical Affairs professionals are no longer acting as the supporting cast, they are now co-starring in the production.

As the pharmaceutical industry evolves and changes, those within it must adapt and develop the skills and competencies needed to address the emerging needs.  Patients and physicians are seeking high-quality and reliable information, products, and services.  Pharmaceutical companies are acknowledging the primary role that Medical Affairs Professionals play in providing this, and ultimately bridging the gap between the company and its stakeholders (physicians and patients).  The need for qualified, competent, and agile Medical Affairs Professionals to fill this primary role within organizations has become apparent.  

Apply now and build your future in medical affairs

The IFAPP Academy/King’s College London, Medical Affairs in Medicines Development, Certification Program provides the training needed for Medical Affairs Professionals to not only become successful in their careers but ultimately provide a higher standard of care and service to patients and healthcare providers.

International Perception of Competence, Education, and Training Needs Among Biomedical Professionals Involved in Medicines Development

The below excerpt is from an article originally published on the Frontiers in Pharmacology website. To check out the full article click here.

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The development of new medicines today, requires a multi-professional workforce, both in industry and the clinical research arena. Pharmaceutical physicians (PPs) and medicines development scientists (MDS) need a certain level of competence, achieved through on-the-job experience, with a postgraduate education foundation and continuous professional development programs. In order to assess the self-perception of competence, education and training needs, an on-line questionnaire based on the seven domains of competence, developed by IFAPP-PharmaTrain, was prepared and distributed among PPs and MDS members of IFAPP’s affiliated professional associations in countries with facilities for postgraduate education. The data collection was run over a fixed period of three months in Japan, Italy, Brazil, and Spain during 2017. Results indicate low but variable levels of perceived competence for the various domains as well as seniority in the job. All respondents declared a significant need for continuing professional development in all domains. These results corroborate and support the continuous efforts, put in place by IFAPP and the PharmaTrain Federation, to foster the development of accredited education and training among professionals involved in medicines development.

Introduction

For some time now, the biopharmaceutical industry has been the key link between basic biomedical discovery and the emergence of novel medicines that prolong or improve life. However, the industry faces several ongoing and emerging challenges, including technical knowledge gaps, limitations in clinical testing, lowered productivity, higher development costs, increased regulatory requirements, growing payer pressures and patent expiration.

The lack of an adequately sized and appropriately trained multi-professional workforce, both in the industry and the clinical research field, is also a significant part of the problem. There is a perceived mismatch between the profiles and abilities of graduates from academic programs in healthcare professions, and the changing needs of the various health systems around the world. As a possible solution to achieving a transformative learning, an outcomes-based education, or competency-based education (CBE), has been proposed (Silva et al., 2013). Competent professionals would be able to perform their specific responsibilities effectively, such as bringing and maintaining new medicines to the marketplace. A need for competency-based education and training has been identified in the United States, Europe, and Latin America (Dubois et al., 2016).

These respective professional groups have been left with the responsibility to define the competencies needed to perform their function effectively. Competencies can be clustered in domains and can be learned through proper postgraduate education or continuing professional development (CPD) (Sonstein et al., 2014).

The International Federation of Associations of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Pharmaceutical Medicine (IFAPP)1 and the PharmaTrain Federation (PharmaTrain)2 assumed the task of producing the defined core competencies to orientate Pharmaceutical Medicine and Medicines Development as a discipline and profession. Three areas, seven domains and 57 core competencies at the cognitive level, were identified (Silva et al., 2013). The domains have been summarized in a Statement of Competence.

In addition to serving as a template for job profiles and portfolios, the domains can be used to identify general education and training needs. Based on these premises, an international survey among members of the IFAPP national member association was designed using an online questionnaire. Stakeholders were asked about their self-perception of competence and the need for education and training. The results were then assessed to identify gaps, in order to address the potential need for future development of pharmaceutical physicians and medicines development scientists.

By:
Kyoko Imamura1*
Domenico Criscuolo2
Anna Jurczynska3
Gustavo Kesselring4
Peter Stonier5
Tatsushi Tsuda1 and 
Honorio Silva6

Copyright © 2019 Imamura, Criscuolo, Jurczynska, Kesselring, Stonier, Tsuda and Silva.

IFAPP Academy 2019 Cohort Excelling!

The 2019 Cohort has just completed the first of six Modules required to earn their Medical Affairs in Medicines Development Certification (CMD). In the past month students have learned about the purpose and identity of medical affairs, received an introduction to pharmacology, overviewed the clinical trial process, networked with their fellow students during webinars and lesson discussions, and much more!

We are proud to announce that we have a few students who received perfect scores for their work in Module 1! This means they attended all lectures, webinars, and achieved full marks in participation for each activity. This is by no means a small feat. Their dedication to the Program has not only exceeded expectations through their academic achievements but also through their interactions with their fellow students.

We look forward to sharing with you the continued success of each one of the students in this Cohort.

Want to learn more about the IFAPP/King’s College London, Medical Affairs in Medicines Development, Certification Program?

The International Federation of Associations of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Pharmaceutical Medicine (IFAPP) Academy provides online Continuing Professional Development for Medical Affairs Professionals.

The IFAPP Academy is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote, develop, and implement educational activities that support Pharmaceutical Medicine by enhancing the knowledge, expertise, and skills of pharmaceutical physicians and medicines development scientists worldwide. Partnered with King’s College London, the Academy offers Professional Certification for students successfully completing the course. Click here to learn more about the benefits of Professional Certification from the IFAPP Academy.

Importance of Big Data for Medical Affairs Professionals

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The Importance of Big Data for Medical Affairs Professionals

How harnessing the power of big data can give Medical Affairs Professionals the strategic edge.

The most competitive companies in pharma must inundate themselves with data to navigate and excel in an ever increasingly complex environment. But, according to Bain & Company, companies have difficulty explaining the science and data to stakeholders in an effective and meaningful way.1 Just imagine a chemical engineer trying to explain chocolate milk to a 3-year-old. According to Bain research, this shortfall is one attributing factor to the 50% of launches that fail to meet company expectations.

So how does a company manage this problem without losing sight of their main goal, the resulting product? This is where a Medical Affairs Professional comes to the rescue. The ability for a Medical Affairs Professional to collect, analyze, interpret and present data can help ensure the success of a company.

Why is big data so important? Drug development has become more focused on narrower and more personal indications resulting in a more involved treatment. This trend, along with rising costs, and a greater multiplex for physicians to navigate has left a gap that leading companies are filling with medical affairs teams to help them translate their data in a way that physicians, payers, and providers can understand. While the company can focus on their products, they can leave the Medical Affairs Professionals to sort and distribute their big data in a valuable, effective, and consumable way.

Want to learn how to leverage company big data throughout the drug development process?

The International Federation of Associations of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Pharmaceutical Medicine (IFAPP) Academy provides online Continuing Professional Development for Medical Affairs Professionals.

The IFAPP Academy is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote, develop, and implement educational activities that support Pharmaceutical Medicine by enhancing the knowledge, expertise, and skills of pharmaceutical physicians and medicines development scientists worldwide. Partnered with King’s College London, the Academy offers Professional Certification for students successfully completing the course. Click here to learn more about the benefits of Professional Certification from the IFAPP Academy.

To read more about big data in the world of Medical Affairs please check out this great article from Bain & Company: Reinventing the Role of Medical Affairs.

 

References:

  1. Plantevin L, Schlegel C, Gordian M. Reinventing the Role of Medical Affairs. Bain & Company. http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/reinventing-the-role-of-medical-affairs.aspx. Published March 15, 2017. Accessed January 11, 2018.