Medical Affairs Groups Take on New Roles

Drug companies are adding more responsibilities to their medical affairs groups.

Over the years many drug companies’ medical affairs groups have grown and evolved to add new roles. According to a survey by Cutting Edge Information, 35% of medical affairs groups have recently been adding the responsibilities of health economics and outcomes research (HEOR).

Drug companies want to be able to provide more detailed patient outcome data to prove the value of their products. This is becoming more important with the rising costs of health care.

"Although it is still an emerging trend, the addition of HEOR responsibilities to medical affairs teams is a tremendous indicator of how the industry will conduct business in the future," Jason Richardson, president of Cutting Edge Information, said in a statement.

One role of health economics groups is something that medical affairs groups are already familiar with: acting as an impartial bridge between the clinical development organization and the commercial side. Other commonalities between the two groups include disseminating clinical data and health economics information to stakeholders.

CEI’s data shows that the bond between the departments is growing. More than half (58%) of U.S. medical affairs teams already have some HEOR responsibilities and budgets for HEOR activities increased 5% over the previous year. CEI suggests that as these two groups work together, it may be soon when medical affairs is a primary reporting line for health economics.