IFAPP Academy:
Value of Medical Affairs

The pharmaceutical industry has seen major changes over the past decade. As market pressures have intensified and commercial practices have come under closer scrutiny, there has been a marked increase in scientific rigor across the industry. One consequence of this shift has been a renewed emphasis on the importance of the Medical Affairs function.

Pharmaceutical companies have traditionally viewed Medical Affairs as a support function, and one that sometimes acts as a brake on the more commercially driven parts of the organization. This perception has been exacerbated by information asymmetry: although the work of Medical Affairs in ensuring compliance, handling medical information, and generating medical evidence is intricate and data driven, it can easily look like a black box to those outside the function.