When asked how the MSL found ways to support their KOLs and HCPs, survey participants predominantly indicated that they have prioritized extending offers of support, appreciation, and compassion focused on the human aspect to their contacts and KOLs. Participants have designated texting as an easier method of staying connected although email and varied virtual platforms have also been noted. While participants mentioned maintaining their status as a resource for those KOLs and HCP contacts with specific questions, the consensus was movement toward a reactive approach and remaining “on call”. Congruent with current trends of virtual coffee breaks, participants also described holding virtual calls where coffee was encouraged and materials or data were emailed prior to the meeting to facilitate efficiency and robust conversations. Sensitivity toward KOL time via shortened meetings has been a consistent theme in how participants view their role in supporting their KOLs. Additional suggestions by respondents included supporting clinical trials, offers to update slide decks, and furthering education through coverage of virtual national meetings.
Of particular relevance to the current pandemic, survey respondents consistently noted serving as a resource for KOLs by providing COVID-19 updates and articles. One complementary area of support offered by participants was webinar and virtual meeting tech support to their KOLs. Universally, survey respondents echoed the need to prioritize the care of patients and the respective time of their KOLs toward this purpose. An unexpected but valuable service that respondents reported providing was one of consultation regarding patients on their current therapeutic modalities who had contracted COVID-19. Additional activities with less frequency that were recounted by participants included virtual advisory boards, internal project work, online speaker training, connecting KOLs with patient advocacy groups, and sales training support. Further creative examples of support by MSLs of KOLs during these unprecedented times can be found by reviewing the detailed results within the USA survey.