February 21, 2024/Aktana/カテゴリーなし, Medical Affairs


It is an excellent point in time to reflect on the transformative journey of the pharmaceutical industry and the crucial role played by Medical Affairs (MA) teams. There are three top priorities that have come to the forefront for life sciences companies in Medical Affairs:

  1. The need for effective KOL network development
  2. The desire for more efficient medical insight collection
  3. Striving for effective content creation and dissemination

Let’s explore why these priorities are now center stage and how they are likely to influence the technology approaches in the near future.

KOL Network Development

In 2023, KOL network development retained its position as a paramount priority for MA teams. The Veeva Pulse trends survey revealed a fascinating insight – 70% of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) engage with only one biopharma company. With the booming specialty drugs market and a slew of New Molecular Entities (NMEs) launching in competitive markets like immunology and oncology, KOL networks play a critical role in driving market preparedness. The differentiation achieved through MA-driven activities is now a  linchpin for the commercial success of drugs, making KOL network development a non-negotiable priority.

Efficient Medical Insights Collection

The challenge of sub-optimal Customer Relationship Management (CRM) adoption is ongoing, hindering the collection of valuable medical insights. Recognizing the need for improvement, pharma companies invest heavily in streamlining insight collection processes and technologies. Intelligent engagement models, voice-to-text capabilities, and leveraging Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are now integral to deriving insights from real-world data. As MA teams harness patient, physician, and practice-centric insights, the focus is shifting to enhancing the quality and quantity of data collected.

Effective Content Creation and Dissemination

Traditional, dense medical affairs content is facing a transformation. The industry is shifting towards better utilization of content storage, modularization, and tagging technologies. Medical communications teams are embracing bite-size content, optimizing it for non-traditional channels such as text, WeChat, WhatsApp, chatbots, etc. The automation enabled by improved content storage has facilitated omnichannel evidence dissemination, breaking free from the limitations of conventional communication channels.

Anticipating Trends in 2024 and Beyond

Looking ahead, a continuation of the same three top priorities is highly likely due to sustained industry pressures, a robust specialty pharma pipeline, and a high volume of NME launches. Layoffs and reorganizations also underscore the need for technology-driven operational efficiencies and cross-functional collaboration. 

New technology tools now available in the market can be a game-changer in addressing the top challenges for MA teams, such as Next Best Action solutions which can help field medical teams with identifying the best method, time and content to engage with prospective KOLs. At the same time, utilizing tools to orchestrate omnichannel outreach for medical communications, can significantly improve HCP engagement by providing better content and in the forms most likely to be impactful. 

Learn how eleven major pharma companies are approaching omnichannel orchestration for medical affairs today.

Technology and Medical Affairs in the Pharmaceutical Industry

As technology continues to advance, MA experts will play a crucial role in ensuring that technology aligns with the scientific nuances of each asset and therapy area. While the development of technology rests with digital and data science teams, Medical Affairs will shape the use cases to ensure successful implementation and overall impact.

For MA teams in the coming year, a critical focus should be on measuring and demonstrating impact in alignment with business priorities. Traditionally challenged in quantifying their contributions, MA teams must establish measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to showcase their impact on overall success.

In addition, recognizing that one size does not fit all, MA teams and technology champions should account for asset and therapy area nuances when implementing technologies. Engaging compliance teams early on is also essential to ensure successful adoption.

Overall, for new life sciences companies aspiring to build robust MA teams, the path is clear – invest in cutting-edge processes and technology from the outset. Early incorporation of MA professionals in the design and implementation of technologies ensures alignment with business goals, measurable impact, and successful change management.

Learn More About Omnichannel for Medical Affairs

We’ve created this practical reference guide for MA teams who are starting to navigate the omnichannel landscape. Our FAQ guide helps address common questions like:

  • What does omnichannel really mean?
  • What are the benefits of including Medical Affairs in your overall omnichannel strategy?
  • How can these commercial and medical functions be integrated into an omnichannel strategy?
  • Should a Medical Affairs omnichannel approach include Next Best Action (NBA) programs?

Access your copy, and discover how your Med Affairs team can adopt omnichannel strategies to achieve greater reach and more meaningful interaction with HCPs.

Get to know Aktana’s Medical Affairs Expert: Dr. Deepak Patil

Deepak Patil is Senior Director of Medical Strategy at Aktana, where he leads the development of AI-driven intelligent engagement solutions for MSLs. He is passionate about novel applications of real-world data and artificial intelligence to drive decision making in medical affairs and R&D. A physician by training, Patil has over a decade of experience designing novel use cases of real-world data across the drug development continuum as a medical advisor at Sun Pharmaceuticals, strategy consultant at IQVIA and, most recently, as real-world data strategist at IBM Watson Health. Patil can be reached at deepak.patil@aktana.com.