The role of the Medical Science Liaison (MSL) has developed significantly over the past 20 years. As technology has become a pillar throughout the healthcare industry, the accessibility to communication and the means of disseminating medical information and patient outcomes has developed as well. MSLs are now managing an abundance of different levels of information from various medical sources and are being tasked to act strategically and compliantly, while on the road.
Most of the typical MSL’s time is spent visiting Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and interacting with Healthcare Professionals (HCPs). However, H1 Insights states that particular therapeutic areas as well as the changing healthcare landscape will only increase the amount of responsibilities and opportunities for the MSL. These factors are molding the traditional MSL role into a more multidisciplinary role, making it more difficult for MSLs and medical affairs teams to make varying levels of information cohesive and strategic.
With the increased development of specialized drugs and treatments, especially in the immuno-oncology field, there is an increased demand for MSLs to respond to healthcare providers' complex requests. Other responsibilities and opportunities are presenting themselves to MSLs in different areas, such as providing input on HEOR, generating Real World Evidence and disseminating it to the appropriate stakeholders and engaging with patient advocacy groups.
The shifting role of the traditional MSL comes with its slew of concerns, such as being able to manage the increased varying responsibilities, strategically target opinion leaders, and work cross functionally with field team members. Additionally, with the upward trend of remote medical and commercial teams, it makes it harder to perform well when the traditional communication model needs to be reevaluated and adjusted. Therefore, it is important that MSLs have access to the right digital tools to keep ongoing conversations with key stakeholders.
With TikaMSL, medical team members can maintain their ongoing conversations as well as manage future engagements with KOLs and HCPs through a simple workflow design. The TikaMSL platform allows commercial and medical teams to piece together a cohesive story in which they can manage eMIRFs, gain insights about the industry, influence the P&T process, and strategically plan their HCP and KOL interactions.
The role of the typical MSL is shifting, which allows room for the increased use of technology to ease the everyday burdens of the medical affairs team. Planning and open communication are necessary to ensure that MSLs are not stretched too thinly. Since it is essential that the medical field force is able to provide input and address the needs of various stakeholders, it is imperative that MSLs are able to schedule virtual meetings with stakeholders, digitally manage their assets, and defer commercial-related eMIRFs.