1/5 How to work within Pharmaceuticals- Medical Affairs
Ok Community Pharmacist, here’s out first of five blogs outlining how you can break into the pharma world and the type of roles that would suit you as a Pharmacist.
Lets explore Medical Affairs (MA)
Medical Affairs is probably the largest functional area within Pharma and probably the most popular for a pharmacist to transition to.
MA is what you would call the medical information centre of a company.
Firstly working within this area, you'd typically deal with products in its post marketing phase to make sure all the scientific information is outlined within the product information and literature.
Its very important that this information is being communicated to other healthcare professionals, KOL’s (*Key Option Leader, get to know this term as these are the people you really need to build solid relationships with) and patients in the most clearest way.
*Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) are experts in their field and a respected voice in medical circles. They have an influential quality coveted by companies within the pharmaceutical industry.
Next the MA department will also be the go-to department for any questions regarding a product. Your knowledge on the combination will be elite and you should be able to answer these questions with ease. If a question couldn’t be answered, then you would head back to complete further tests to be able to answer these pressing questions.
Not only will you be responsible ensuring that all the scientific information and data is up to date and current, you'll also be responsible for education and training material of company products or therapeutic areas, internally and externally.
All training and material will come from the MA Department.
The Skills You Need
Communication skills oral and written
Problem solving skills
Understanding data and information
Great head for business
One of the key skills needed is to be able to understand, demonstrate and communicate scientific information and data.
If you have a natural business acumen, it will help you A LOT. You’ll be placed in tricky business meetings, with some extremely hard questions to answer, which you may not have the answers to right away. Diverting these questions with a ‘TBC’ answer is required. If you’re a problem solver then you tick another huge box! This will be massively beneficial as you will not only be solving the simplest of problems, but you may be faced with complex problems to include complaint handling. By using your skills within understanding scientific information and data you'll aim to solve problems.
If you’re a problem solver then you tick another huge box! This will be massively beneficial as you will not only be solving the simplest of problems, but you may be faced with complex problems to include complaint handling. By using your skills within understanding scientific information and data you'll aim to solve problems.
Communication is a big one. Being able to communicate on a human to human level whilst also sounding like a rocket scientist is important. You’ve gained all your medical knowledge over the years of studying and working within community, clinical or PCN environments. Now it’s time to use this language effectively and provide effective and accurate information.
Why this role is so popular with Pharmacists
The reason why this role is so popular with pharmacist is due to the main skill which will really help you, medical writing. If this isn't a strong skill of yours then 100% get looking to develop this skill. You can do this by doing external courses!
MA is a massive functional area which has sub areas attached to it. These include -
Field Medical Affairs
How do I break into Pharma?
Gain as much experience as possible within a clinical setting, clinical research/trials areas and locum opportunities. Even take up volunteering options to gain experience. Really get your head around all the key skills needed and really invest yourself into developing those skills.
Keep your eyes open for the next instalment- Regulatory Affairs
If you have any questions about Pharma, feel free to contact us on either 01244 621477 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have a Pharma vacancy available for you to view: Click Here for Pharma Vacancy