Thoughts on Global Medical Affairs
Readers of this blog know that I have strong opinions about MA’s role in the success of the Sunshine Act in their companies. MA is responsible for long-term scientific engagement with the company’s top external experts, and these are the very people most likely to be negatively impacted by the Sunshine Act compliance if it is handled wrong. Clinical is focused on the next study, commercial is focused on the next sale, only MA is focused on the overall relationship.
It is for that reason that I have been increasingly concerned when a number of my friends in the industry have told me how little, if at all, many MA organizations have been engaged in the efforts so far. To be fair, many organizations are focusing on the mechanics right now – gathering the right data, centralizing data from a range of different sources, coding it in the right way and reporting it effectively – most if which is not the responsibility of MA. Nevertheless, precious time is being wasted on the relationship side of this effort.
So, this is my call to action. If by June 1, your organization has not begun an overall communications and relationship management plan spearheaded by MA, you are officially behind the curve. The data will need to be collected as of August 1, and your MSLs should be explaining the why’s and what’s of this process before that data begins to be collected. They can’t do that without a thorough communication plan. And, some KOLs are likely to react in a less than positive way to this development – you need a plan to handle this as well.
The platform is burning – time to push ahead and take the lead in this effort!