Multiple Sclerosis: KOL Insight

Multiple Sclerosis: KOL Insight

Some experts believe the MSL is poised to become the face of the pharma industry. The primary role of the MSL is to establish and maintain trusted relationships with stakeholders and provide real value. It is this relationship and value that will give your organization the edge against competition in the future. The question for many however is how and where to add value?

What should you be doing now to prepare your team? How should the successful MSLs of tomorrow be recruited, trained, and managed? What roles will they fill, what relationships will they need to forge, what skills will they need to possess, and how will their effectiveness best be evaluated?

Prepare now to best leverage this critical function tomorrow. Order Tomorrow’s MSLs to find out how.

Benefit from the experience and expertise of companies like Eisai, Merck Serono and more – see who they are. Share in the knowledge of insider organisations like the MSL Association. Gain insights from nine prominent executives in the field.

“The main challenge is, how can you find and do something that will add value to the clinicians? It is when you add the value to them, when they see you as a peer, then you start building the relationship you want with them and then they will do things for you. But you need to add the value first and you need to identify how can you add the value.” MSL, Eisai EMEA, EU

Top Takeaways

The key is adding value: Tomorrow’s MSLs will have the competitive edge when they discover how they can be valuable to stakeholders
Engaging a growing group of stakeholders will be the challenge for MSLs in the future as nurses, pharmacists, payers, and patient groups all grow in influence.
Therapeutics will demand more of the MSL as drugs become more complex and the number and nature of products in highly competitive categories changes on a daily basis.
The new skill set required of tomorrow’s MSLs includes integrity, technical and analytical expertise, an understanding of the pharmaceutical industry, knowledge of the clinical development pathway, adaptability and self-motivation.
Retaining and incentivising the best MSLs will be increasingly difficult for Pharma as these professionals will be hard to find and in high demand.

Key Issues Explored

How will the future healthcare landscape affect the MSL role?
How will you retain and incentivise the best MSLs of tomorrow?
Will you need more or fewer MSLs to face the future?
Could outsourcing the MSL role make sense for your organisation?
Where will the best MSLs come from and what credentials will they need?
How will new technology change the way MSLs perform their roles?
How should your MSLs work with internal stakeholders?


Roger Berry, Chairman of the MSL Association (, UK
Helen Kane, Director, Helen Kane Ltd and former Chair of MSLA, UK
Dominic Lawrance PhD, Medical Science Liaison Manager, Alimera Sciences, UK
Michael Spyridon, Medical Science Liaison, Eisai EMEA, EU
Alan R Rosenthal PharmD, Principal, HRC, Inc. – Medical Affairs Management, US
Charles White, Medical Science Liaison Director of Medical Affairs, MedSci Solutions LLC, US
Director of MSL Operations, Top 10 Pharma Company, EU
Senior Medical Science Liaison, Top 20 Pharma Company, US

Who needs this report

Professionals charged with hiring, training, managing or evaluating MSLs and intent on fully leveraging their potential.
Executives who wish to optimise the utility of the MSL function in their organisations.
Managers looking for insights on the future of the MSL role in pharma.
MSLs who want to continue to excel in the field in the years to come.

1. Executive Summary
2.2Methodology and objectives
2.1.Research objectives
3.2.The MSL role today
3.3.KOL identification and engagement
3.4.Supporting clinical development
3.5.Regulation and compliance
4.Key challenges and future developments
4.1.Defining the MSL role and providing direction
4.2.Lack of definition and differing expectations
4.3.Greater clarity of definition and direction in the future
4.4.Diversity and complexity are driving change
4.5.Diversity in the MSL role
4.6.Therapeutic complexity
4.7.Tomorrow's MSLs will be more specialised
4.8.MSLs in smaller companies may not be full time
4.9.Outsourcing MSLs
4.10.MSLs in the evolving healthcare environment
4.11.Healthcare funding
4.12.Access to KOLs
4.13.Increasing stakeholder diversity
4.14.New business models
4.15.Medical affairs emerging as the face of the pharma industry
4.16.KAMs are replacing sales reps
4.17.More collaboration with internal stakeholders in future
4.18.Demonstrating value to internal stakeholders
4.19.Technology facilitating the MSL role
4.20.MSL recruitment, training and retention
4.21.Qualifications for new MSLs
4.22.A balance of qualifications, skills and personal attributes
4.23.Skills that MSLs need to develop
4.24.New MSLs are coming from different backgrounds
4.25.Increasing competition in MSL recruitment
4.27.Career progression
4.28.MSL retention
5. Critical success factors for tomorrow's MSLs