The ONLY Peer-Reviewed Journal for Medical Science Liaisons Is Now Available

The Medical Science Liaison Society has officially launched the industry’s first, peer-reviewed journal specifically targeting the professional Medical Science Liaison (MSL).

THE MSL: Journal of the Medical Science Liaison Society is the industry’s premier peer-reviewed publication for the MSL profession.

The journal was created to provide insights and knowledge exchange among the Medical Science Liaison community. The Journal is a multidisciplinary, international journal and invites submissions from authors in all relevant disciplines and settings.

The journal will publish six issues a year and is available in both digital and printed versions. We provided a complimentary print copy of the first issue to all attendees at our recent annual U.S. MSL Society conference. The digital version officially launched today. All members of the MSL Society receive a free digital subscription.

We are very excited to bring this resource to the global MSL community!

Thanks to all the authors that contributed great articles to our first issue:

Dr. Hudson Garrett

Vice President, Clinical Affairs and Medical Affairs

PDI Inc.

Dr. Alexander Tolmachev

Senior Manager, Medical and Regulatory Projects

Takeda, Russia

Dr. Jennifer Williams

Director of TTM Education and MSL Services

Bard Medical

Dr. Eric Zhao

Regional Medical Liaison, Oncology

Amgen Inc.

Thanks also to our first advertisers for their support as well:

Thought Leader Select

Veeva Systems


The second issue will be published next month. To read the first issue or learn about subscriptions see themsljournal.com

Want to get involved or publish?

To submit an article for consideration, please visit www.themsljournal.com and submit the manuscript through the online portal for peer review and consideration by the Editor. The Journal is also looking for peer reviewers, so if you are interested in applying as a reviewer, please email Dr. Hudson Garrett, Editor-In-Chief at hudson.garrett@themsls.org.


Free Webinar ‘Optimizing MSL Impact on KOL Relationships’

MSL Society WebinarsThe Medical Science Liaison role has exploded in growth over the last several years and as the healthcare industry continues to change, Pharmaceutical, Medical Device, and CRO companies are increasingly relying on the MSL to improve and strengthen KOL relationships.

As a result of these changes taking place in the healthcare industry, the challenge is to develop more effective strategies for KOL engagement. Some companies have developed very innovative approaches for their MSL team to engage with KOLs.

To learn how these companies are achieving success with their unusual approach to KOL relationships, join us during MSL Society next FREE Live webinar on Thursday, May 28th at 10 am (PDT), 1:00 pm (EDT), 6 pm London (BST), 7 pm Paris (CEST), and 8 pm Moscow (MSK).

Our distinguished panelists and presentations include:

Title: MSL Best Practices from China: Assessing the Impact of Medical Education Activities on KOLS & Other HCPs
Avery Ince, MD, PhD
VP of Medical Affairs
Janssen Pharmaceuticals, China

Title: MSLs – The Double Doctorate Role. One in Science and One in Communication
Global Head Immunology Medical Affairs
Baxter, USA

Title: KOL Access
Ruth Haile-Meskale, PharmD, MBA
Medical Science Liaison
ZS Pharma, USA

You can register for free here.


MSL Society Advisory Committee Announcement

We are excited to announce the MSL Society Advisory Committee and all it’s new members.

The committee consists of leaders from across the global MSL community who will advise the MSL Society on future strategy, direction and resources.

The Advisory Committee is a key link for the needs of MSL Society members and priorities for programs. Moreover, the Advisory Committee is an important avenue for MSL Society outreach. Advisory Committee members will provide marketing and awareness of the MSL Society to their own organizations and network.

The link below will navigate you to the Advisory Committee web-page.

MSL Society Advisory Committee



5 Key Principles of MSL interaction with Sales Reps

IMG_6161MSLs are traditionally separated from commercial functions like marketing or sales within pharmaceutical industry. The firewall between MSL team and sales normally helps to prevent inappropriate interactions when for example sales deliberately or not manipulate MSL activities for sales objectives. Some companies will not allow MSLs and reps to be in the room with the physician at the same time and many of those that have very specific policies on how those two functions can interact. Both the sales reps and the MSLs should have a clear understanding of the rationale and selective restrictions of the other functions – i.e. sales reps should know where MSLs participate in certain activities and MSLs know why sales reps behave the way they do. 5 key principles below may serve as a basis for a complementary MSL-Sales reps interaction model.

1. Adopt clear vision of what sales and MSL functions should accomplish for the company. MSL function is a more long-term competitive strategy and market access, than short-term, however executives who fund programs are often interested in short-term commercial input. If the access is gained through the MSL team there may be a temptation to deliver marketing messages through them also. The company has to create a clear policy on how both business units will interact based on their different objectives (scientific education versus product promotion).

2. Ensure an environment where concerns from both sides can be raised without fear. The team managers have to help their staff to understand the devide between the functions and describe the factors that separate the two roles including company policies and regulatory requirements. This can be made through corporate trainings and cross-functional questions and answers sessions. An internal updatable Q&A document will also be very helpful.

3. MSLs and sales reps are here to help each other within established boundaries and rules of engagement. In some cases the firewalls between functions may lead to prohibition for MSLs and reps to talk to each other, which becomes another barrier in alignment of their interactions. However these firewalls need not to be broken down to improve collaboration. When MSLs and sales reps work in culture of mutual respect, when each function compliments the other, both teams can improve their KOL interactions and together move their brand forward.

4. Introduce careful planning of teams interaction with KOLs. It’s not uncommon for both teams to target the same physicians to drive their separate goals, but without careful planning too many field representatives can easily overwhelm KOL. By collaborating, sales reps and MSLs can time their visits to ensure that KOLs see someone from the company on regular and acceptable intervals. When visiting a KOL MSLs or sales reps need to be aware of prior or existing interactions originating from the company without necessarily having to know the details of those interactions.

5. Engage with Corporate Compliance early to prevent issues. Ideally Compliance should be deeply involved in setup of the company policy regulating the interactions and devide between MSLs and sales reps. Nevertheless when conducting a training or a Q&A session for the teams it’s important to have compliance colleagues on board, which will help to quickly resolve any ad hoc questions and prevent bigger issues.