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May 13, 2024

Harnessing potential and meeting the challenge of insights management

Medical affairs is pharma’s enterprise-wide influencer and foundational strategic pillar.
insights management white paper

In a new insights management white paper, research shows that the demands on medical affairs will only increase, especially as the pharmaceutical industry deals with an increasingly complex network of information sources and ever-accumulating data.

Medical affairs must generate insights that drive strategic decision-making to meet this demand. Tactically, medical affairs must identify pertinent questions, gather responses, analyze data, report findings, and continuously iterate across disparate yet associated teams – all in the interest of accelerating commercialization, market entry, patient access, prescriber adoption, and gains in market share.

The double-edged sword: increasing impact, higher demand

Growing appreciation for the strategic importance and value of medical affairs in pharma is both a blessing and a curse. While medical affairs may be glad for the acknowledgment of their integral role, they also face the pressure of increasing demand from leadership – all while proving ROI.

To meet their potential and satisfy demands from across the enterprise landscape, medical affairs teams must, at a minimum, gather, analyze, and disseminate data-driven and timely insights. Optimally, they accomplish this with advanced technologies and collaboration tools that may also help unearth new opportunities and accelerate launch timelines. Ideally, this work will happen in a way that makes the broader enterprise aware of medical affairs’ work as a strategic pillar and driver of success.

Challenges: data management and safely unlocking the potential of AI

Persistent difficulty integrating, organizing, analyzing, and using data coherently can leave the impact of insights management hidden from view, placing product launch, patient access, and market adoption timelines at risk.

According to survey responses gathered from 195 global medical affairs professionals and presented in a new white paper from Within3 and Reuters Events Pharma, insights management in medical affairs lacks standardization and integration between data sources. Medical affairs teams say they still rely heavily on manual processes, and these limitations hinder efficiency, accuracy, and timely dissemination of insights. This highlights the need for improvement in insights reporting practices.

The potential for, and apprehension surrounding, AI adds yet another challenging element for medical affairs to address. This rapidly evolving technology can help unlock hidden insights by doing time-consuming work quickly, including integrating multiple data sources, observations, and conversations for analysis and reporting. But medical affairs teams remain unsure of their latitude in bringing on AI-powered tools, or have yet to learn where, when, and how to employ AI to further their strategic goals. What is clear is that medical affairs leaders who answer these questions sooner than later will have a competitive advantage over those who cannot.

Key questions from new industry research

In “Elevating Med Affairs Insights Management: Transforming Pharma Through AI and Cross-Collaboration,” industry experts from Roche, Spark Therapeutics, Astellas, and UCB, alongside Within3 CEO Lance Hill, discuss the survey data through the lens of medical affairs’ expanding influence.

Important questions emerged when examining the survey data and talking to these industry leaders:.

  • How can medical affairs bridge the resource and knowledge gaps that are keeping them from meeting the onslaught of enterprise-wide needs and expectations?
  • What is the difference and relationship between data, observations, and insights?
  • Where is the right starting point for effective, cross-functional data management and insights generation?
  • How and where are pharmaceutical medical affairs teams using advanced technology like AI, large language models, and social listening to improve processes, insights generation, and strategy implementation?
  • What are the top concerns when employing advanced technologies and AI, even in a pilot or test-level scenario?
  • Are you effectively presenting your findings and value as the purveyor of actionable intelligence across the entire enterprise?

Download the new white paper to learn the answers to those questions and others from the Within3 and Reuters Events Pharma survey. It features insight from medical affairs leaders at Within3, Roche, UCB, Astellas, and Spark Therapeutics. You can also get more details about the Within3 insights management platform.

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