About the ads

MSL careers

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by SHC1984, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. SDN is a nonprofit organization. Services are made possible through the generous support of SDN members and sponsors. Thank you.
  1. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    6,120
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member

    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    Anyone here know anything about medical science liaison careers? A good friend of mine told me it's a good field to look into. He loves to do research though, so it could be good for him. Anyone here a MSL and would like to share his or her experiences I would greatly appreciate it. Is this a good area for PharmD to look into?
  2. KARM12

    KARM12 Super Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,378
    Location:
    East
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    MSL's don't do traditional research. They are the link between the drug company and "thought leaders" in the field. They are usually fellowship or residency trained, or have many yrs experience in a given specialty area.
  3. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    6,120
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    I see. Is the job really hard to get? (What job isn't now? LOL...) Is it a really stable one?
  4. PumpkinSmasher

    PumpkinSmasher Pharmacist

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,070
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    There are limited positions and like metnioned above, require years of experience in a specialty area and/or fellowship/residency training. One of the MSLs I contact from time to time for work spent 10 years in his specialty area before transitioning.
  5. Ackj

    Ackj

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Messages:
    2,061
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Aren't MSLs the people you talk to on the phone when you have a question about a company's drug? They've always seemed pretty knowledgeable and had a decent answer, even if it was a kind of odd question to throw at them.
  6. Its Z

    Its Z Retired

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Messages:
    4,767
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    MSL is one of the more difficult jobs to get and requires not only advanced training, work experience is a must.
  7. joetrisman

    joetrisman

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,878
    Location:
    Developing rickets
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Pharmacist SDN 5+ Year Member
    Any thoughts about rotating your inpatient pharmacists to your new outpatient facility to make them more familiar with insurance schemes/product availability? Not entirely sure if this would help at all but just a thought I had on rounds the other day when I had therapy suggestions based off pt insurance that a non-retailer wouldn't know.
  8. Its Z

    Its Z Retired

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Messages:
    4,767
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Yeah for the purpose of staffing efficiency I will have to rotate inpatient pharmacists to retail. Most of my.pharmacists have worked retail and some still work part time retail so most are well versed.
  9. TonyRx

    TonyRx Hamburglar

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    262
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    A pharmacy manger I have worked with a lot has a brother who was an MSL for a major insurance company (I think Aetna, not positive) and he recently got laid off. He was making very good money, but apparently when budget cuts roll around his salary/department sticks out like a sore thumb. Not sure if this is the case for all or most MSL positions, but just an FYI to think about.
  10. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    6,120
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Okay thanks guys. Maybe an MSL position will be harder to get than the pharmaceutical sales rep job I was looking into before I started pharmacy school. LOL...
  11. joetrisman

    joetrisman

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,878
    Location:
    Developing rickets
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Pharmacist SDN 5+ Year Member
    FWIW, my buddy worked as a rep for Pfizer for 20+ years and refuses to go back after pharm school. Said it was very cut throat as I recall.
  12. Its Z

    Its Z Retired

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Messages:
    4,767
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    The days of 25 yo fresh out of college eye candy pharm rep is over. Today's pharm reps are the remaining cutthroat seasoned reps who survived the downsizing....typically older and beatendown professionals. They're aggressive and know the system. And they can't bribe anyone for anything. The Stark Law and the antikickback law are nothing to laugh at.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  13. type b pharmD

    type b pharmD

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,881
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    From what I've heard MSL jobs are looking for people with mastery of pharmacotherapy knowledge and the medication use and treatment process. Either you prove youre a leader in this area (fellowship + residency + academic or specialty experience), or I have also heard of people being promoted from inside for these jobs (industrypharmD talks about it). You obviously dont need clinical subspecialty training at that point but you need industry fellowship or a connection to get in at an entry level position.
  14. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    6,120
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    :(
  15. Its Z

    Its Z Retired

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Messages:
    4,767
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    That's why conventions like ASHP Midyear is no longer fun. No more hot young bimbo babes and drunkfests.

    :smuggrin:
  16. rxlea

    rxlea Unicorn in training Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Messages:
    13,185
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN Published Author NCPA hSDN Member hSDN Alumni SDN 2+ Year Member
    Maybe it's because hot young bimbo babes no longer have to gravitate toward dirty old men to get ahead
    :smuggrin:
  17. Its Z

    Its Z Retired

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Messages:
    4,767
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    That will never change....
  18. joetrisman

    joetrisman

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,878
    Location:
    Developing rickets
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Pharmacist SDN 5+ Year Member
    Qnexa comes out in july supposedly. Maybe it can help deliver more girls of that description :p
  19. rxlea

    rxlea Unicorn in training Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Messages:
    13,185
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN Published Author NCPA hSDN Member hSDN Alumni SDN 2+ Year Member
    I lol'd
  20. Its Z

    Its Z Retired

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Messages:
    4,767
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Fingers crossed!
  21. gadlo

    gadlo

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    I'm not a medical science liason (MSL); however, I personally know a couple and have spoken to them about their careers. Here is what I've learned:

    It is a doctorate-level position-you'll need a PhD, MD, or PharmD to get the position. The old model of using pharmaceutical reps who visit doctors' offices to promote drugs is dying. Many doctors are limited in what they can prescribe or are strongly recommended to prescribe standard generics before branded drugs. Plus, doctors no longer want to talk to a bachelors-level salesperson who doesn't really understand the disease or medication beyond the drug-company talking points.

    This is where the MSL fits in. They are really smart, educated, and experienced people. This is usually not an entry-level position. You'll need the credentials and the experience, via residencies, fellowships, work experience, to get the job. They engage the key opinion leaders (KOLs) who have an outsized influence on the way that the different specialties treat patients. The KOLs are often the doctors and scientists at the forefront of the field. They are the ones who write reviews that get hundreds of citations. MSLs also engage with people within larger institutions who have influence over prescribing within that institution. They are not allowed to "sell" their product. Their job is to know the field, the competition, and their company's products. They then highlight relevant advantages of their company's product relative to the competition.

    As you can imagine, intelligence, composure, social skills, and presenting skills are extremely important for this job. You'll need to interact and develop relationships with highly capable, intelligent, and confident people. The pay is very good (>$120k, potentially much more for influential or experienced MSLs), but there is likely to be a lot of travel required (>40%).

    My friend said that it is a great paying and interesting job that has a lot of travel. Now that he is married and has two kids, he finds it a struggle to be away from home so much.
  22. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    6,120
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Thank you. That's great to know! :)
  23. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    6,120
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Well I was considering either becoming a pharmaceutical sales rep or MSL, but it seems that one job is dying out and the other one requires many years of experience....*sigh*....I wonder what I should do now. :confused:
  24. PumpkinSmasher

    PumpkinSmasher Pharmacist

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,070
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Obtain the required training and experience to become a MSL...;)
  25. joetrisman

    joetrisman

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,878
    Location:
    Developing rickets
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Pharmacist SDN 5+ Year Member
    I'd say just on the teaching bandwagon. With no foreseeable end to easily accessible student loans, it seems like a decent bet.
  26. rxlea

    rxlea Unicorn in training Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Messages:
    13,185
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN Published Author NCPA hSDN Member hSDN Alumni SDN 2+ Year Member
    Please for the love of god don't tell her that. Take it back!
  27. KARM12

    KARM12 Super Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,378
    Location:
    East
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Teaching requires residency too.
  28. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    6,120
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Thanks but I really just want a job that pays as much money AS FAST as possible. That's why I almost went into pharm sales...if it wasn't for my parents wanting me to go to pharmacy school I would have went with sales. I really want a job that pays as much money as fast as possible. If MSL takes years of work before I can make the big bucks then I'll look into something else.

    I am thinking nuclear pharmacy now....I know those jobs are hard to come by....but I'll move to Alaska if I have to! (just for a year or two! hahaha)
  29. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst Lowest common denominator Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    7,862
    Location:
    The bottom of a pile of debt.
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    Pharmacist SDN 7+ Year Member
    Retail. I've got a FOB Nigerian making serious bank in Humboldt County, CA. He's been in the country less than 2 years. I have to write up at least 2 errors every time I step into the pharmacy. Can't wait til I get new interns in June. If the pharmacy supervisor can get someone at least half decent, he goes into the float pool. Provided he doesn't find himself canned. Yep, definitely retail.
  30. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    6,120
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    LOL...I guess I forgot to add one last thing. I want to make money as FAST as possible AND not have a super stressful job dealing with annoying people everyday.

    Since MSL takes too long...I'll go into nuclear pharmacy or mail order pharmacy or staff hospital pharmacy...ANYTHING but retail. haha...

    Or I might look into pharm sales rep if all else fails. Thanks.
  31. joetrisman

    joetrisman

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,878
    Location:
    Developing rickets
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Pharmacist SDN 5+ Year Member
    ACPE requirement? I'm assuming work experience substitutes as we had a professor in her 30s that wasn't residency trained.
  32. patmcd

    patmcd Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,014
    Location:
    Southern US
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    Pharmacist SDN 7+ Year Member
    Not an official ACPE requirement that I know of. However with more residency trained practitioners around these days, schools just are less likely to need to hire a non-residency trained new faculty member (i.e. doesn't have teaching experience already).
  33. KARM12

    KARM12 Super Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,378
    Location:
    East
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Not a requirement, but a new practicioner will need a residency if they want to teach.
  34. pharmaguide

    pharmaguide

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    157
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Isn't that pharmacy right there? :laugh:
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  35. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst Lowest common denominator Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    7,862
    Location:
    The bottom of a pile of debt.
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    Pharmacist SDN 7+ Year Member

    Does it need to involve pharmacy practice? I knew a girl once that made pretty good money as an exotic dancer. You'll never have to worry about making a lethal mistake that way.
  36. Ackj

    Ackj

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Messages:
    2,061
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Can't make a career out of it though. You've only got a few years before you lose your youthful attractiveness and gravity gets the best of the girls.
  37. browneyes021

    browneyes021

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Messages:
    275
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    That's when plastic surgery and botox come in handy :cool:
  38. pharmaguide

    pharmaguide

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    157
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    :thumbup:
  39. Momus

    Momus

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,316
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Myfreecams.com

    An average performer who works 30 hours/week brings in ~$6000-8000/month. If you are a top performer you can easily pull in $25-30k/month

    And no, I am not kidding lol >_>;

Share This Page


About the ads