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Medical Affairs

Helping clients to transform their medical affairs function into the company’s third strategic pillar alongside R&D and commercial.

What we do

Over the last 15 years, McKinsey has worked with major pharmaceutical and biotech companies to shape their medical affairs function. The pharmaceutical industry operates within a rapidly changing environment, and medical affairs is becoming increasingly integral to success. To transform medical affairs accordingly into a company’s third strategic pillar (alongside R&D and commercial) is a vision that will require significant upgrades to how the function operates today.

Our experts draw from deep expertise in medical affairs—both serving individual clients and leading cross-industry initiatives—to help the medical affairs function fulfill its potential to improve patient outcomes and experiences.

Specifically, we focus on the following areas:

Innovating evidence generation – Leading rapid-cycle, integrated evidence generation across HEOR, RWE, Phase IIIb/IV, and all other data, supported by microanalysis to tailor information to the needs of individual patients and improving patient lives across the product life cycle.

Accelerating access to treatments – Clearly articulating clinical and economic value (including data) to build trust with partners and accelerate access to treatment to ensure that the right patient gets the right treatment at the right time.

Transforming and personalizing medical engagement – Upgrading physician and patient decision making by engaging providers, patients, and others with tailored information that improves outcomes, supported by a reimagined insight-generation process.

Stepping up internal medical leadership – Providing strategic medical direction to the organization that is steering resources for maximum medical impact, injecting new capabilities, and upgrading performance at scale to create medical leaders who drive and shape the future of medical affairs and the company as a whole.

Featured capabilities

MEDICAL AFFAIRS LEADERS FORUM

The Medical Affairs Leaders Forum brings together US and global heads of medical affairs to understand the range of medical affairs practices and jointly tackle common challenges for medical affairs teams. Since its inception in 2006, the group has expanded, and areas of focus now include engaging external influencers, codifying a joint vision for the future, and building the data set required for change.

Learn more

MEDICAL AFFAIRS LEADERSHIP ACADEMY

Launched by McKinsey in 2014, the Medical Affairs Leadership Academy has enabled numerous up-and-coming medical leaders to advance their careers, lead an evolution of the medical affairs function, and shape the industry more broadly. The leadership academy is a 6-month learning journey for high-potential medical affairs leaders likely to take on significant increases in responsibility within the next several years and who are excited to further refine their skills to drive personal and professional growth.

Featured experts

Matthias Evers

Senior Partner, Hamburg

Edd Fleming

Senior Partner, Silicon Valley

Ivan Ostojic

Partner, Zurich

Featured Insights

Interview

Transforming Medical Affairs: Tapping the alchemy of storytellers and digital start-ups

– The Head of Digital Strategy and Medical Innovation, US Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at Novartis discusses how disruptive... technologies and digital innovation are inspiring a start-up mind-set within the organization.
Article

Real-world evidence: Driving a new drug-development paradigm in oncology

– The potential for real-world evidence is expanding, particularly in oncology drug development. To compete, some companies are... investing in robust real-world data and analytic capabilities.
Article

Real-world evidence: From activity to impact in healthcare decision making

– While there is general agreement that real-world evidence could significantly improve how healthcare stakeholders make decisions,... expanding its use requires action by multiple stakeholders.