Medical Affairs teams within the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies may be charged with the following: Managing relationships with key thought leaders and stakeholders, relaying and providing clinical knowledge gained from trials to health care professionals and stakeholders.
Dr. William A. Soliman, Founder, and CEO, ACMA which has the first-ever Prior Authorization Certification program and also offers staffing for Medical information departments.
Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs (ACMA) provides data & tech solutions for Medical Affairs and the MSL space in the life sciences industry.
ACMA - first organization in the world to provide accredited certification for pharma
Dr. William explains, “So the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs (ACMA) is the first organization in the world which provides accredited certification for pharmaceutical industry professionals. We offer certification for reimbursement specialists that work in the industry and we actually started by developing the first-ever and the only accredited until now, board certification for medical affairs professionals and medical science liaison. And we also now offer digital tools and technology for the pharmaceutical industry. So you have the ACMA engage, which is for a CRM tool for medical affairs and MSL professionals and also ACMA predicts, which is our own proprietary predictive analytics tool for the pharmaceutical industry to help them gather insights and analytics on their stakeholder, though very exciting time here at the ACMA,” he says.
Medical affairs is a really important role
Dr. William explains, “Especially when you think about COVID-19, and the apprehension that many people around the world take about taking the vaccine, for example, really boils down to trust in the pharmaceutical industry. The entire world is affected by Coronavirus and so medical affairs, in particular, are a really important role because ultimately the face of the pharmaceutical industry and educating the medical community on the products and the services that the industry provides. And so I'm sure for Coronavirus, medical liaisons, medical affairs professionals are going to play a big part in educating the community whether it's the physician community, whether it's the patient advocates patient community, about the safety of vaccines and why they shouldn't be using the vaccines. This is going to be very important. We just had a meeting with some of the vaccine manufacturers and these are the other things that we talked about the ACMA with many policymakers many Congress in the United States government, which are part of the Trump administration in the White House staff as well as and the FDA and these are very important points around the issue of professional standards and this brings me back to why accredited certification for MSL and medical affairs is so important more than ever, get people certified and meeting a minimum standard because you need to go trust among the people world,” he says.
The biggest challenge is a visual technology
Dr. William sheds light on the subject, “I think the key challenges in medical affairs in the next 10 to 15 years are going to be a few things. The first one is defining how a medical affair is going to be able to be effective in the new digital era. Today, in medical affairs, we are beginning to adopt a lot of digital technology in the last few years, but as we step into the world of big data analytics and healthcare. How will medical affairs use this technology and tools? Like I mentioned, we have predictive analytics and AI, how will we use that to make better strategic decisions? How will we just help our organizations be able to anticipate changes in the market and anticipate what we can look forward to when it comes to even the regulatory elements and drug approval, that predictive analytics plays a role at all. So I think that's going to be the biggest challenge in visual technology. I think the other area is especially since Coronavirus, now we're all virtual so how are we going to continue to build relationships with stakeholders and external communities in this new paradigm because even after Coronavirus is over, I think a lot of people are still going to want to be remote and virtual. How are we going to work in the medical liaison today even before Coronavirus spent a lot of their time? Another thing is traveling to Europe, what are you going to do with the reimbursement specialist that we work with for certifying on prior authorization? The landscape is different from doctors today. They might prefer to meet virtually so how will we as an industry adopt that? So I think that relates to medical affairs. But in general, I think the industry is thinking about what this is going to mean for this generation of physicians and health care providers,” he says.
Coronavirus ushered in a new era of Telemedicine
Dr. William shares his thoughts, “Absolutely. I do think Coronavirus ushered in a more quickly a new era and one of the biggest areas is telemedicine. They think about how many appointments that you had with your doctor, whether it's for yourself or for your children, where you're able to do it on a zoom. That was unheard of years ago or even a year ago, I think that reimbursement models for health care providers are going to change. I think that also when it comes to the delivery, the drug delivery of drugs and devices, that's going to change as well. What I mean by that is you're living in an environment where there is less face to face interactions and it's virtual, I think we're going to see greater use and focus of drugs that are delivered less frequently. So you are virtual and are able to use devices, for example, to administer, let's say drugs for diabetes that's already happening now where maybe, you only administer through the implanted device for patients with diabetes and it’s done once a year, and that regulates your insulin that I've taken every day and medication for diabetes. I think we're going to see more examples where technology, especially medical devices, are going to play a bigger role in drug delivery and mechanism for treating chronic diseases,” he says.
(Edited by Rabia Mistry Mulla)