What is Medical Affairs?
Medical affairs is a broad functional group encompassing many different functions within it and centered around scientific exchange and medical guidance on clinical development. Medical strategy for each product is typically driven by medical directors who make key decisions especially as they relate to evidence generation, communication with physicians, and publications of trial and real world evidence. Medical affairs is the umbrella organization for other medical functions including medical information, independent medical education, scientific communications and publications, medical science liaisons (MSLs), and potentially HEOR.
Medical affairs sets the engagement strategy with key opinion leaders (KOLs) and gets insights from them through MSL interactions, face-to-face meetings at medical congresses, and advisory boards on the product, what evidence gaps may be important to address, etc. They advise other parts of the company on clinical matters and also play a role in the investigator-sponsored study strategy.
Below is a picture showing working relationships and key tactics between various functions within medical and how they may interface. Blue boxes denote external customers, orange are field based, and green are home-office based: