Welcome back to the #V3Podcast.

This is The Vision, the Voice & the Value of Medical Affairs.

This month’s guest is Dr. William Soliman. Will is the founder of The ACMA, the first and only global accreditation council for medical affairs professionals, he is also a seasoned media figure and thought leader in the biotech industry, with several years of leadership experience in the Pharma industry under his belt. Will has been instrumental in launching a variety of innovative platforms and expanding the role of medical affairs across the industry. He is often invited to speak at crucial pharmaceutical industry conferences focusing on medical affairs, patient navigation, and its relationship to field-based medical teams, and the ever-changing role of the medical science liaison (MSL). Will has held a variety of critical management roles across the industry at companies such as Retrophin, Veeva Systems, Eisai, and Gilead Sciences.

In this episode, Anne opens the show describing some future focused trends in the medical affairs field. She and Will speak on controversial drug pricing issues – such as, what does the election year mean for the industry from an innovation perspective? There is no doubt that we want to make drugs as affordable for as many people. However, the challenge comes in when a majority of the clinical trials fail. The solution to drug pricing may be thinking about more efficient and effective ways to design clinical trials. Machine learning and AI can come into play for a clinical trial designer. The V3 team discusses here.

Ultimately, whether a device or product is going to work could be determined early on in the research. There is a strong correlation with what is happening in research and how we can make the overall system more efficient and effective.

Medical affairs is a value producer for companies, says Anne So how do we view value? William Soliman says that medical affairs will be taking more of a forefront in big-name companies. Global scientific output doubles every nine years. We need people who are going to be well-trained and formally knowledgeable.

Then, Will Soliman answers questions around the benefit of formalization Board Certification in Medical Affairs, as it brings uniformity within the culture of medical affairs. For example, medical directors entering industry from Academia don’t know how to create a clinical trial. When you go to medical school, you don’t get trained on how to create an adequate trial – there needs to be some uniformity.

Pharmaceutical companies need to rebrand – they have to demonstrate to patient groups that they are putting their money where their mouths are. Companies always say they are going to do things; however, rarely do they follow through. Patient advocates want physicians who are working from the highest standards.

“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”

In this Episode the team discussed the following topics:

  • About drug pricing [ ~3:55 ]
  • Understanding how to leverage technology [ ~8:15 ]
  • How we can utilize patient input [ ~12:35 ]
  • Medical affairs is a value producer [ ~15:30 ]
  • Board Certification in Medical Affairs [ ~21:45 ]
  • How we can do our job with the highest level of caring [ ~27:50 ]
  • You have to tough it [ ~37:30 ]

Anne’s Favorite Quotes:

  • “The industry can do a better job of leveraging technology to create more efficient clinical trials.” -Dr. William Soliman
  • “The opioid crisis casts a poor light on pharmaceutical companies.” -Dr. William Soliman
  • “When you make a decision based on fear, then you aren’t willing to put your foot down and make the hard decision.” -Dr. William Soliman

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