Nearly 300 Medical Affairs professionals assembled in Miami, Florida on February 25-27 for MAPS 2018 second Annual Meeting. The conference theme was “Strengthening Medical Affairs Impact for Improved Patient Outcomes: Building Our Future Together”.

The event offered an opportunity for Medical Affairs professionals to assemble and network with their peers. For Deena Goldman, Executive Director, Global Medical Communications at Astellas, the event was a unique opportunity to “learn more about environmentally, what’s going on in Medical Affairs and really understand the full breadth of what Medical Affairs can bring to a company”.

Part of the opportunity in coming together as a community is to dialogue with peers and learn how best to articulate the value of Medical Affairs. “Sometimes articulating that value to cross-functional colleagues can be challenging”, says Therese McCall, Vice President, Medical Affairs, Depomed. “We’re very excited to be close to launching our Launch Excellence Template and putting a framework into place. We’re building on the expertise that lives within this community of professionals and we continue to build those products and offerings over the coming years within MAPS”.

According to Matt Lewis, Global Chief Data and Analytics Officer, ApotheCom, the Medical Affairs community is at an exciting stage. “The industry is at a place now where the professionalism, the standards, the ability to move forward and focus on outcomes, data analytics and quality has been achieved and the whole collective sense of absorbing knowledge and learning from each other is important, so we can really start achieving the things we’ve talked about for many years”.

MAPS Fundraising Gala

The event was kicked off with a roaring 20’s-themed fundraising Gala which included a fashion show, flapper dance instruction, and ballroom dancing. In total, MAPS has contributed and helped raise nearly ten thousand dollars for the Abuela Lucy Foundation. Through its Project Libros y Lápices, the foundation is helping kids in Puerto Rico get off the streets, out of shelters and back to school. MAPS continues to partner with the foundation to provide lab supplies to two schools devastated by Hurricane Maria, improve educational opportunities for students of diverse backgrounds to excel in the life sciences and to ensure future scientists, doctors and MA professionals have the tools they need.

The Annual Meeting was opened by former MAPS President Dr Kirk Shepard, Senior VP, Head of Global Medical Affairs Oncology, Eisai and included plenary sessions, practical workshops, panel discussions and hot topic chat groups which included:

• Managing and maintaining talent in Medical Affairs departments

• Strategies for conveying the Medical Affairs value proposition

• Professional pathways for MSLs

• Practical tips for utilizing RWE

• Patient centricity: what’s it all about? Do I need a strategy?

• Hope! We don’t have - but we need - a Medical Affairs department

• Medical Affairs in the medical device world: distinctive nuances between pharma and medical device, while establishing value to stakeholders

• Getting access to thought leaders in an increasingly restrictive environment

Keynote speakers included Pamela Spence, Partner, EY who spoke on “Precision Health 4.0”, Dr Soumi Saha, Director of Pharmacy & Regulatory Affairs, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy who spoke on the topic “FDA Guidance on HCEI – Opportunities & Challenges for Implementation” and Ben Cook, President, Acumen Learning who spoke on business acumen as a critical future capability for Medical Affairs leaders when he delivered the final keynote of the event - “Language Lessons: How Medical Affairs Professional Can Speak ‘Business’ to Achieve Maximum Success”.

Kirk Shepard, MD

Ben Cook

Pamela Spence