Welcome to the Fall edition of The MSL Journal! Fall is my favorite time of year as you begin to feel the crisp chill of weather changing, leaves crunching beneath your feet, and smell wood burning in fireplaces and outdoor fire pits! It is finally time for the s’mores!
This edition is incredibly full of amazing insights, tips, and novel ideas covering areas of top interest from how we aim to focus on patients to elevate their voice within our KOL discussions, the ever-expanding use of AI and digital agility that is quickly becoming an essential skill for MSLs, to continued focus on growth and development to hone skills and build new ones that will allow MSLs to deliver the most value to all stakeholders. This is a lot to cover in one edition and I have to say that I am so impressed with the content our authors share in this edition!
As we move toward the close of 2023, we begin to take stock of what we have accomplished, setting our sights on 2024 and how we plan to chart a new course! Field medical affairs continues to evolve with increasing use of our expertise earlier in development; there is a definite focus on research liaisons to support efficiency and focus on clinical trial efforts that will bring novel therapies to waiting patients and clinicians. Demonstrating value through more than metrics is now a focus of our company leaders more than ever. Seek to define value in clear terms and communicate the impact that builds on the existing metrics. Focus on how education and knowledge are delivered; was it effective? Do we prioritize field efforts sufficiently or do we use a broad list of field activities, allowing a more freeform approach to what is actively done in regions? How can the prioritization be more consistent, and agile to shift quickly as needs in the organization change and communicate in both directions internally and externally within our companies? These are areas we will continue to emphasize as we move into 2024 and beyond!
What will our field teams need to succeed in a complex, expanding environment? Skills such as: discipline, determination, strategic focus, networking to foster relationships and collaboration to leverage a wide array of strengths, expertise, and capabilities, and much more. Finding the narrative in a storytelling context is vital to capture attention with data, using more fine-tuned data to drive decision-making, and polishing communication skills, particularly with active listening are areas I encourage teams to invest in for development. And, a growth mindset mandates the ability to deal with uncertainty in a positive light, embracing discomfort and leaning into change as a means of moving toward innovation. We will not grow or innovate if we are not willing to change. All of these focal points are now part of a global mindset where we connect our efforts beyond countries and see how our partners can help us advance the cause for novel medicine and treatments.
Fall signals a time to move into holiday mode and perhaps slow down the pace; I hope everyone can find time to read through this edition with such impactful content that will help bring focus, new ideas, and extra fervor to dive into 2024 with renewed energy! Thank you for being part of the MSL Society medical affairs community that learns together, supports one another, and makes a difference each day!
Until next year, happy reading and take time for wellness!
About the author:
Cherie Hyder, PharmD, MSL-BC
Cherie Hyder is a Syndicated National MSL Director at Syneos Health. In her previous job at Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, she supported a virtual launch of Nurtec ODT for acute migraine. She has been involved in drug development for more than 30 years, working at the FDA in CDER and pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Lilly, Novartis, Solvay, and Avanir, among others. At the University of Missouri, she received a Doctor of Pharmacy degree with the intention to devote her career to pharmaceutical research. She has multiple adjunct faculty appointments and enjoys teaching opportunities.