New companies tend to decide pretty early on whether to build medical affairs teams separate from their commercial operations, a decision that may hold implications for later compliance concerns.
More than half of the companies surveyed by Cutting Edge Information chose to define centralized medical affairs teams, noting it as a top concern early in their organization.
"Aside from erecting a structural firewall between medical and marketing teams, there is no true best practice for configuring the actual medical affairs team’s structure,"CEI research team leader Ryan McGuire said in prepared remarks.
CEI analyzed data spanning 4 years of budgeting related to companies’ "overall medical affairs function," from which they offered some best practices for fledgling companies navigating their medical affairs structuring.
Deciding whether to set up a centralized medical affairs group that supports various parts of the company or a decentralized group is one of the 1st decisions companies face, the Research Triangle Park, NC- based company said. The most important communications, CEI added, are between internal medical affairs sub-teams and cross-functional groups, such as marketing and clinical development teams.
"As long as information flows back and forth through the medical affairs structure, then the team can uphold its responsibility to respond to medical inquiries and disseminate medical evidence," the consulting firm noted.
CEI’s study found wide differences in the ways companies set up their medical affairs teams, with some implementing fully centralized medical affairs organizations, others using country-level teams support local market needs and some implementing a hybrid of sorts.
CEI offered 3 primary ways new companies can "adjust medical affairs resources to maximize team efficiency":
- “Build strong networks to increase inter-team communication”
- “Maximize resources to empower teams”
- “Position medical affairs as the intersection of clinical and commercial information”