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Medical science liaison

A medical science liaison (abbreviated as MSL) is a healthcare consulting professional who is employed by pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and managed care companies. Other monikers for medical science liaisons may include medical liaisons, medical science managers, regional medical scientists, and regional medical directors.

Based on a peer-reviewed article by Dr. Donna K. Morgan Pharm.D. and colleagues and published by the Drug Information Journal ( in the year 2000, the original medical science liaison concept and term was claimed by the Upjohn Company in 1967. Although the concept was circulated within the pharmaceutical industry to have been created by Upjohn's CEO at the time, this was never substantiated in the publication. According to Morgan and colleagues these field-based professionals were created to interact with academia-based physicians and researchers.

In 1997, Science Oriented Solutions (SOS) ( became the pharmaceutical industry’s first Contract Medical Organization (CMO) providing outsourced MSLs to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Evan Demestihas, MD, RPH, is the company’s founder and President/COO ( Outsourced MSLs function in the same capacity as internal teams, providing scientific information to Key Opinion Leaders and physicians.

A description of what medical science liaisons do and where MSLs fit in healthcare companies has been provided by Medical Science Liaison Institute, as "therapeutic specialists with advanced scientific training and degrees in life sciences. ...Medical science liaisons actively engage in activities that support the strategic direction of a product. Therefore, medical science liaisons are exposed to key decision makers both within the organization and outside the company". The role of MSLs was described by Dr. Jane Chin, Ph.D. ( as, "...catalysts of collaboration between pharmaceutical companies and thought leaders, medical science liaisons are essential conduits to the quality and success of transmission of timely information, research resources, and business intelligence."

While the original MSLs at Upjohn were promoted from tenured sales representatives who have demonstrated a level of technical competence, today's MSLs are often scientists and clinicians who hold terminal or advanced degrees, including PhD, PharmD, and MD. Current industry and regulatory trends had driven most companies to require doctorate degrees for field medical science liaison positions. In one industry wide survey of medical science liaisons performed by Erin Albert, MBA, PharmD, ( approximately 60% of MSLs hold PharmD degrees, 10% hold PhDs, and 1-2% are MDs. Albert is the author of The Medical Science Liaison: An A to Z Guide (2007), the first published book solely dedicated to the MSL.[citation needed]


  • The Medical Science Liaison: An A to Z Guide. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2007.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Medical_science_liaison". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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