Welcome to the Virtual Work World! No need to grab a coat or briefcase and head out the door! As all of us have experienced over recent months, we have been abruptly thrust into a foreign environment that removes us from personal contact, routines and daily structure. One thing we can count on is that MSLs are resilient, adaptive and flexible. We embrace the challenges and take them on with gusto!
This edition of The MSL Journal is dedicated to the topic of navigating a virtual work environment where internal company and external KOL engagement have suddenly shifted to a predominantly virtual mode! I hope you find the myriad tips, ideas and focus areas of help as we all continue to lay a new course for field engagement, while also maintaining headquarters relationships in this virtual dynamic!
While the pandemic has brought devastation across the globe, humanity perseveres in search of a vaccine and methods to control and contain infection. Working in the pharmaceutical industry, we are experts in drug development and understand that finding a novel vaccine that is both safe and efficacious is of paramount importance, and yet also takes quite a lot of time, scientific prowess and resources, but I am confident we will achieve this vital goal. It is incumbent on us, as scientific experts, to help others understand that drug development does not happen over night (as we all know well!) and that the process to bring a vaccine to market should remain a priority as we navigate this pandemic.
That said, I know my fellow MSLs and leaders are stoic and steadfast. Our business is to help the patients who are waiting for medical solutions and we must forge ahead. In doing so, we take on the challenge of making the virtual environment work for us, not against us. We see the novel aspects of a captive online audience, how many more Zoom meetings we can do in a day or week than we can when we regularly travel, and what tactics are more effective to communicate scientific knowledge to our healthcare providers on the front lines with their patients. Together, we can overcome all challenges!
I raise a toast to all my colleagues who get up early and face the virtual day with extra energy, ready to reach through the screen and make a positive impact in every interaction! Keep your focus! Thank you to all the contributors who eagerly reached out to the journal with so many creative and useful approaches for virtual interactions! This is a must read edition for all of us!
Until we can meet again safely, be well,
Cherie Hyder, PharmD, MSL-BC is Medical Excellence and Operations Lead in Medical Affairs at Biohaven Pharmaceuticals where she recently supported a virtual launch of Nurtec ODT for acute migraine. She has been involved in drug development for more than 30 years, working at FDA in CDER and pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Lilly, Novartis, Solvay, and Avanir, among others. At 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.