Roger Berry : MSLA Chairman

Title and Organisation: Associate Director, Field Medical Lead (MSL/MSNA) Biogen Idec UK/IRE

Current Duties and Responsibilities:
I lead a team of MSLs operating in the therapeutic area of Multiple Sclerosis. My primary responsibilities include:

  • The strategic guidance of the MSL function to support delivery and accomplishment of medical objectives
  • Management and development of MSL Governance Frameworks
  • MSL core skills coaching through regular accompanied field visits
  • MSL material/ slide deck development
  • Exploring opportunities for growth and expansion of the role and interaction with internal stakeholder functions
  • Provision of regular update to senior management on the value of the MSL team through gathering of qualitative and quantitative metrics

Reason for MSLA involvement:
I have over 8 years’ worth of experience of being an MSL and leading MSL teams across multiple therapy areas at GSK and now Biogen. In my opinion, the MSL role is the most exciting, diverse and rapidly evolving role within the pharmaceutical industry. The value that a great MSL can add to healthcare professionals and ultimately patients is truly incredible. The role requires expertise in so many different areas, from deep analytical thinking to strong scientific acumen, strategic and commercial awareness to excellent written and verbal communication, and strong relationships building capability to great team working, innovation and compliance. The MSLA is dedicated to providing a professional platform to drive compliance, value, credibility and sustainability of the MSL role and this is why I wanted to get involved.

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Zulfi Malik : MSLA Treasurer

Title and Organisation: MSL Team Leader, Sanofi-Genzyme

Current Duties and Responsibilities:
I am involved in the exchange of credible scientific and medical information with healthcare professionals. I am also responsible for representative training, assisting HCP with medical educational programmes; updates on pipeline & strategies supporting managed entry of new products to market and clinical trials. Creation and development of approved internal and external slide-sets for medical use.

Reason for MSLA involvement:

I have been in the MSL / Scientific Adviser role for over 13 years and tenure in the Pharmaceutical Industry of over 26 years. The changes in the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry in that time have been significant and contributed to my belief that the MSL role has more than adequately earned a place in this changing environment. I’m very passionate about the role and its direct contribution to the enhancement of HCP ability to help their patients. I was part of the original team that formulated and created the MSLA. I see the MSLA developing into a formative professional body serving the needs of fellow MSLs. I’m proud to be associated with the MSLA and to have been elected as the committee’s treasurer. I also serve as the MSLA Webmaster.

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Nirmal Dhir : MSLA Secretary

MSL LEO UK/IE

Current Duties and Responsibilities:
I have over fifteen years’ experience within pharma (Wyeth/Pfizer) and in medical affairs as a MSL for the last 3 years with LEO. Being a field based medical and scientific support role for healthcare professionals I strive to provide expert knowledge and education on disease areas of interest to LEO. I provide support for researchers who have an interest in Investigator Initiated Studies. I work alongside marketing, commercial teams delivering education to enhance their medical and scientific understanding.

Reason for MSLA involvement:
As one of the first LEO MSLs I was involved in the development of the MSL service from the start. Although it was a steep learning curve, I am sure that my contribution to the MSLA will be very useful as I have developed a real passion for the field based medical role whilst working in this area. I am a strong believer that the MSL role enhances and adds value to relationships between the pharma industry and HCPs, ultimately for the benefit of patients. I believe that there is a great opportunity for the MSL role to develop and evolve and look forward to contributing to this process via my involvement with the MSLA.

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Melanie Sibson : MSLA Committee Member

Senior Medical Liaison Manager, Boehringer Ingelheim

Current Duties and Responsibilities:
I provide medical support for our oncology compounds in both pre and post license setting. My current duties include supporting investigator initiated studies, named patient programmes and advisory boards. Recently my role has been extended to Team Leader for the Oncology MLM team at Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd. This now gives me a strategic role as well as operational responsibilities. I am also responsible for a non-promotional medical educational workshop which looks to support clinicians who have an interest in developing their own clinical research.

Reason for MSLA involvement:
I am very passionate about the MSL role and keen to see the role develop further. The MSLA is an excellent forum to share ideas and learn from each other. The MSLA role is now seen as a pivotal part of the pharmaceutical industry and it is our responsibility to shape the role further to ensure we continue to be seen as a valued partner for our commercial colleagues. I am delighted to be part of the MSLA and be able to contribute to the future success of the association.

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Christine Mackay : MSLA Committee Member

Immunology MSL, MSD

Current Duties and Responsibilities:
Field based medical and scientific support for Health Care Professionals, providing expert knowledge and education on MSD disease areas of involvement. Providing support for researchers involved in Investigator Initiated Studies. Delivering education to enhance the medical and scientific understanding of commercial colleagues.

Reason for MSLA involvement:
As one of the first MSD MSLs I was involved in the development of the MSL service from the start. I really enjoy the variety offered, including engaging with a wide range of Clinicians and Scientists, involvement in research, and educating our field force. This rapidly evolving role has so much potential, and as responsibilities differ between MSLs there is great scope for us to learn from each other, bringing more professionalism to our role. Maintaining the professionalism and the scientific non-promotional focus of the role (including compliance with PMCPA Code of Practice) is essential. I am passionate about maintaining the integrity and sustainability of the MSL role in the rapidly evolving healthcare environment and I really enjoy working with the wider MSL community to achieve this vision.

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Sarah Goffin : MSLA Committee Member

Multiple Sclerosis MSL, Sanofi Genzyme

Current duties and responsibilities

I commenced my first MSL role in September 2016, prior to which I have worked as a pharmacist in both private and NHS hospitals as well as in the community sector. In addition to this I also worked as a postgraduate trainer and pre-registration placements coordinator during the course of my PhD. In addition, I have also held a variety of mentorship roles for registered pharmacists and technicians, pre-registration pharmacists and technicians as well as undergraduates at my local university.

As an MSL my key responsibility is to support clinicians to provide the best possible care not just with our products, but also to improve the quality of care for all patients within my therapeutic area. This mission is undertaken through timely and effective responses to medical enquiries, appropriate management of adverse events and providing guidance following requests for funding for a wide variety of aspects, including investigator-sponsored studies.

Reason for MSLA involvement

Whilst the MSL role is gaining exposure I still feel that there is much to be done to further promote this role as a potential career path, particularly for those with healthcare backgrounds who may then be able to take on additional responsibilities such as signatories. Also, in line with the new General Pharmaceutical Council guidelines on revalidation, I am working very closely with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society not only to recognise the MSL role as a pharmacist career path, but also to generate materials and provide support for industry pharmacists who will now need to
revalidate.

In addition, I am committed to engagement of the MSLA members through our social media platforms and am very keen to find out what you would like to see from us. I will be working very closely with the rest of the committee and looking to you for guidance in how we can really fully utilise our platforms so that you can get the most out of them!

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Mark Macdonald : Consultant, MSL Global Centre of Excellence

Eli Lilly and Co. Ltd

Current Duties and Responsibilities:
Since 2015 Mark has been a consultant in Lilly’s Global Centre of Excellence, the functional home for MSLs across the organisation. Here he partners on the implementation, development and optimisation of the role globally, working with MSLs, MSL managers and senior medical affairs leaders, with a focus on Europe.

Reason for MSLA involvement:
Having been an MSL, MSL manager and functional leader at Lilly for a decade, I hope to bring my experience and perspective to this post and support the further development of the MSLA. I believe passionately in the value of the MSL role and its significance in building trust between the medical community and the pharmaceutical industry. The delicate balance of trust MSLs maintain through legitimate scientific exchange is one we must all champion, as Pharma continues to adapt to a changing and highly competitive healthcare environment. The spotlight is on MSLs more than ever to demonstrate value, whilst navigating the grey areas of judgement based decision-making – in the office and in the field. In this context, it is important to have pan industry dialogue to aid clear and consistent understanding of the role, and offer thoughtful and relevant initiatives that engage the MSL community. This is something I would like to help the MSLA deliver as a truly independent voice of and for MSLs.

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