Biotechnology's special forces: Field-based medical science liaisons


Biotechnology companies with a product commercialisation strategy are deploying field-based medical science liaisons (MSLs) to increase awareness of a therapeutic market, support clinical trials, and educate the healthcare community on appropriate product utilisation. Attracting experienced MSLs to smaller or younger companies remains a significant challenge for MSL directors. Comprehensive MSL training programmes are also lacking at young biotechnology companies, even though directors interviewed in this paper all agreed that training is a key provision to equip MSLs for quality performance. As field-based medical programmes are expanding in the biopharmaceutical industry, small MSL teams often compete in the same market dominated by large pharmaceutical MSL forces. Small teams that are staffed with experienced MSLs, trained rigorously on both technical and non-technical competencies, and motivated toward effective teamwork are positioned for success. Medical science liaison directors who proactively communicate with senior management on the value that MSLs bring to their companies are more likely to obtain resources for training and will leverage their MSL programmes for growth.

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Chin, J. Biotechnology's special forces: Field-based medical science liaisons. J Commer Biotechnol 10, 312–318 (2004).

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  • medical science liaisons
  • field-based medical programmes
  • training
  • thought leader development
  • teamwork
  • MSL directors