What does an MSL do?

In order to successfully get an MSL position, you need to first have a clear understanding of the key components of the MSL role.

An MSL is a field based NON-PROMOTIONAL medical affairs team member who builds collaborative and mutually beneficial relationships with Key opinion Leaders (KOLs) in a defined therapeutic area with the overall goal to drive the brand forward.

For example, an MSL for an oncology drug will build relationships with medical oncologists, gain insights about how the drug is used, how the clinical data is perceived, what data gaps there are for the drug and share these insights with the company. This will inform the company’s marketing strategy, which will then help grow the market share of the oncology drug.

Typical activities of an MSL

When searching for an MSL position, it is important to do your research and familiarize yourself with common terms in the job description. This will help you leverage your experience and demonstrate to interviewers that your skills are transferable.

Typical MSL activities include (but are not limited to);

  • Maintain the highest level of knowledge regarding current disease state and product (including competitor products)

  • Initiate and maintain strong relationships with KOLs (check out our guide to stakeholder mapping and engaging KOLs)

  • Gather and communicate scientific intelligence and clinical insights identified through interactions with KOLs

  • Provide high quality scientific information to healthcare professionals (HCPs) in response to specific requests

  • Provide internal scientific training to sales representatives

These MSL activities should be at the front of your mind when you are preparing your CV to apply for an MSL job.

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