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LATEST THINKING


The new role of Medical Affairs

Helping deliver better patient and health outcomes

Overview




The growing focus on patient outcomes and population health, along with the growing complexity of care, are disrupting how healthcare is delivered, how decisions are made, and how scientific data and drug information are used. These trends also present an opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to develop their Medical Affairs organizations into more strategic stewards of patient outcomes.

By refining the role of Medical Affairs from disease and product specialists to curators and connectors of outcomes-focused information, the Medical Affairs workforce of the future can help today’s extended ecosystem of providers, stakeholders and decision-makers capture, understand and use science to support better decisions—from the boardroom to the bedside.

DOWNLOAD GOOD SCIENCE: THE NEW ROLE OF MEDICAL AFFAIRS IN AN OUTCOMES-FOCUSED WORLD [PDF]





KEY FINDINGS

Medical Affairs organizations have an unprecedented opportunity to play a much more strategic role in the delivery of patient outcomes. They need to think more broadly in terms of:

  • Who are their customers? Medical Affairs organizations need to drive solutions for a much broader network of decision-makers and opinion leaders, including healthcare administrators and population health managers.

  • What services do they provide? Accenture research has found that more than 40 percent of life sciences companies expect data volumes to increase by at least 50 percent in the coming year. Medical Affairs professionals can act as credible curators and connectors of information to treat information overload and enable better decisions at the point of care.

  • What skills do they need? Deeper skills in areas such as population health as well as collaboration and judgment skills are needed to achieve broader impact.

US Consumers

Healthcare consumers leave a digital footprint with their online queries and conversations, which means pharmaceutical companies can analyze the behaviors, opinions and concerns that patients demonstrate online.

Pharmaceutical companies may want to invest in digital monitoring solutions that allow Medical Affairs to uncover new sources of evidence. By applying those insights, Medical Affairs can better predict the types of questions patients will ask of their physicians—and the types of questions that pharmaceutical customers may ask of Medical Affairs.

Last year, US consumers went online for medical information: 

Accenture information overload target
Accenture information overload computer
Accenture information overload maze




RECOMMENDATIONS

The opportunity to refine the Medical Affairs role from disease and product specialists to curators and connectors of information is one of many that will emerge in the coming years. Pharma leaders should continually seek out additional ways in which Medical Affairs can meet customers’ growing expectations and demands. This, in turn, requires that leaders:  

Industrial Pervasive Wireless

Rally organization-wide support for a new Medical Affairs vision.

Digital Worker

Evaluate their medical strategies, as well as needed roles and resource requirements.

Industrial Pervasive Wireless

Invest in skills and technologies that bring the vision to life.

Digital Worker

Measure the effectiveness of Medical Affairs’ efforts to drive continuous improvement.



Authors

Elizabeth Coulton

Elizabeth Coulton

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Life Sciences

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James Crowley

James Crowley

Senior Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Life Sciences

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Benjamin Rhee

Benjamin Rhee

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Life Sciences

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