Professional qualifications of medical affairs pharmaceutical physicians and other internal stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry
Medical affairs pharmaceutical physicians (MAPPs) have unique value to pharmaceutical companies due to their accountability for activities that benefit regulators, payors, prescribers and patients. This study assessed whether MAPPs' specialist training and education in pharmaceutical medicine could account for this level of value by determining whether there was significant variation in education and training between MAPPs and other internal stakeholders of pharmaceutical companies. Methods: A
... ystematic search of LinkedIn profiles from the 10 pharmaceutical companies by revenue was conducted between June and October 2021. Job title and type and year of undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications were extracted. A one-sided Mann-Whitney test assessed for differences in the total number of qualifications between MAPPs and other internal stakeholders involved in medical affairs using MAPPs as the reference group. Other internal stakeholders included medical affairs pharmacists (MAPharm), other medical affairs professionals (MAOth), and market access (MAcc), commercial (COmm) and sales professionals. Sub-group analysis determined differences in undergraduate and postgraduate education. Results: In total, 524 profiles were included. Compared to all other internal stakeholders, MAPPs had a significantly higher number of undergraduate (p < 0.001) and postgraduate (MAPharm, p = 0.003; MAOth, p = 0.004; MAcc, COmm and Sales, p < 0.001) qualifications. Additionally, MAPPs had a significantly longer time to industry than other internal stakeholders apart from MAPharm. Of those with clinical qualifications, MAPPs were almost twice as likely to have business qualifications. Conclusions: Of all internal stakeholders, MAPPs had the highest number of qualifications and the best match between expertise and the contextual demands of decision-makers in the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical companies in the UK can use these findings to clarify role boundaries and decision-making power based on the nature and level of expertise of each internal stakeholder.