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MSL Team Budgets May Vary Up To $5 Million in the U.S., New Study Finds

medical affairs budget, MSL team budgetsPercentage Change in MSL Team Budget, by Lifecycle Stage: Niche and Common Product TeamsClick here for high-resolution version
MSL characteristics, MSL budget, medical affairs budgetsMSL Team Budget, by Lifecycle Stage: Niche and Common Product TeamsClick here for high-resolution version

/ -- RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - June 06, 2017) - New analysis of more than a dozen pharmaceutical medical affairs teams found that medical science liaison (MSL) team spending may be as large as $5 million in the U.S.

A new study published by business intelligence firm Cutting Edge Information revealed that MSL team budgets in emerging markets tend to begin under $100,000. One team from the Middle East and North African region (MENA) reported a MSL team budget at just $75,000 during the launch year.

The data from MSL Team Management (Module 1.4) found that for most teams surveyed, MSL budgets are greatest during the product's first year on the market. While medical science liaisons are increasingly becoming important during pre-launch stages, the data show that MSLs are still most important during the launch year and first year on market.

"The most common time to increase MSL spending is between one year before launch and the launch year," said Natalie DeMasi, research team leader at Cutting Edge Information. "These findings indicate the importance of MSLs and the overall ramp-up of MSL activity during the launch year."

The percent change in MSL budgets over the launch window echo the same timeline of one year prior to launch and launch year. More than half (54%) of teams surveyed increase their MSL team budgets leading into the product's first year on market. However, budget increases during this time span tend to be less than increases between one year before launch and the launch year.

About 27% of surveyed teams maintain their same MSL team budget levels between launch and the product's first year on market. Only one team reported a decrease in its budget at any point, according to the study, with a 32% decline in spending between launch and the first year on market.

MSL Team Management (Module 1.4), available at, showcases innovative insights, best practices and benchmarks surrounding MSL teams' budgets, staffing, activity start times, and key performance indicators that occur as part of medical affairs' contributions to product launch strategy. In developing this research, Cutting Edge Information's analysts collected surveys from and consulted with a series of medical affairs leaders at top pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies.

MSL Team Management is part of a 10-part series that Cutting Edge Information will be publishing throughout 2017. The Medical Affairs Product Launch Series, available at, investigates how medical affairs resources and key performance indicators (KPIs) shift between two years prior to launch, one year before launch, launch year and during the product's first year on market.

To learn more about medical affairs' involvement in medical science liaison team management, please visit for more information.

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Elio Evangelista
Senior Director of Commercialization
Cutting Edge Information