Global Medical Science Liaison Trends Key Trends in Support of Global Medical Science LiaisonsClick Here for Additional Resources

There has been an exponential growth of the role of Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs) over the last several years. Pharmaceutical companies are now strategically interfacing their MSLs with physicians all over the world. In this podcast, Yanis Saradjian, Director of Consulting at Cutting Edge Information, Inc., and Dr. Samuel Dyer, Chairman of the Board, Medical Science Liaison Society (see Bios), discuss these trends. The conversation will review MSL key performance indicators, benchmarks, and resources for advancing the global MSL profession.

Aired LIVE on: Monday, September 10, 2012.

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Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs) were first established by Upjohn Pharmaceuticals in 1967 as a response to the need for scientifically trained field staff that would be able to build rapport with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) in various therapeutic areas of research. Although originally called Medical Science Liaisons by Upjohn, over the years and today, companies have used various names for the role including: Medical Liaisons, Medical Managers, Regional Scientific Managers, Clinical Liaisons, and Scientific Affairs Managers among others. Originally, the first MSLs were selected from experienced sales representatives that had strong scientific backgrounds to bring a higher degree of clinical and educational expertise to the medical professionals they were working with. Over the years, MSL teams have been made up of individuals with various scientific backgrounds including: sales reps, those with nursing backgrounds, those with various doctoral degrees or other clinical backgrounds. However, the required educational and scientific background as well as the purpose of the MSL role has progressively changed over the years since they were first established.

With the industry’s focus on gaining market share in emerging countries comes the need for developing operations to support these expansions. The introduction of the MSL function in these areas is often challenging, facing different regulations and compliance guidelines and limitations. Companies with plans on deploying field medical teams in these regions are in exploratory mode, but it won’t be long before MSL programs are up and running. As the industry thinks more from a globally strategic perspective, thought leader reach becomes all the more important.

According to a recent benchmark study, at the top ten pharmaceutical companies in the U.S., the MSL role has grown by an average of 76% since 2005. The evolution and rapid growth of the role has resulted in the need for a professional society dedicated to the MSL role. The Medical Science Liaison Society is a non-profit organization that was created to fill this need and is exclusively dedicated to advancing the global MSL profession.


Questions/Topics to be Discussed

  • Worldwide trends / development of the MSL function
  • Challenges experienced by MSL management
  • Needs for a Society/central educational group
  • Education/experience/salaries of MSLs


Guest Bios



Samuel DyerDr. Samuel Dyer is a dynamic skilled Medical Affairs professional with over 12 years experience within International Medical Affairs for a number of companies. During his career, he has led MSL/Medical Teams in multiple TA’s in over 60 countries throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, Middle East, New Zealand and Australia. His management experience includes small (2+) to large (240+) medical teams across multiple TA’s. Dr. Dyer currently sits on the management team/board of advisors for the start up Biotech company-Biognosys. He is also the author of a first of its kind book on the MSL role that is expected to be published in the Fall of this year (2012). Dr. Dyer is the Chairman of the Board for the Medical Science Liaison Society ( which is the industry’s first ever global Non-Profit organization 100% dedicated, focused and built to serve the global Medical Science Liaison (MSL) career.

Yanis SaradjianYanis Saradjian directs strategy, planning and worldwide business development initiatives for CEI’s business consulting practice. Mr. Saradjian provides expert analysis of strategic planning and competitive positioning initiatives to top management of major pharmaceutical companies worldwide. He has led more than 100 projects developing customized solutions around operational metrics and effectiveness, benchmarking analytics and market research. His areas of focus include medical affairs, clinical development and commercial groups. Mr. Saradjian received his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Sherbrooke in Canada, has a Certification in Finance from the Ecole des HEC Montreal, Canada and executive education on Innovation from Babson College in Wellesley and Global Strategic Management from Harvard University in Cambridge, and only comprehensive interactive career management site 100% dedicated, focused and built to serve the Medical Science Liaison (MSL) career.


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