Thoughts on Global Medical Affairs
The good news for many MA leaders today is that launch leaders (most of whom are typically commercial leaders) rarely need to be convinced that MA needs a role in launch. In today’s world, most launch leaders understand that MA should have a role.
Instead, the challenge for MA leaders today is ensuring that the role and activities of MA are driven by their understanding of both MA’s proper role and their deep understanding of the scientific underpinnings of the drug being launched. Like it or not, commercial people still often view MA as another “messaging” platform and may put MA in the position of serving as a promotional resource without understanding the risks in doing so.
Therefore, it is critical that MA leaders approach launch leader with a well thought out MA strategy to support the launch. This strategy should not be developed in isolation – MA’s commercial colleagues should contribute to and review the MA launch strategy. BUT, is should be MA leadership that is driving the MA launch strategy.
An MA launch strategy should have the following characteristics:
Only after MA has developed its own launch strategy can it successfully negotiate with the launch leader the degree that the launch program can support its needs. Without an MA launch strategy, MA is placed constantly in a reactionary mode.
In my next post I will discuss the timing of all of these types of activities, but one important note is that the MA launch strategy is a living document. It is likely to be revised a number of times as new data and new realities become clear. This is to be expected and everyone involved should have this understanding from the start.
Finally, as mentioned above, MA is only a part of the bigger launch effort and therefore must coordinate its activities with the launch leader and ensure that its work supports the overall launch plan.
What has been your experience in developing MA strategies for launch? Leave a comment below.