Medical affairs: A key strategic function

Dr. John Yee is the U.S. Head Medical Officer at AstraZeneca.

A recent PharmaVOICE feature discussed the role that medical affairs organizations play as a channel between internal stakeholders and their external clients. Medical affairs leaders are beginning to position themselves at the forefront of new pharmaceutical industry commercial models.

In the article, AstraZeneca’s U.S. Head Medical Officer, John Yee, M.D. offered his perspective on the changing role of the medical affairs function:

“As our healthcare system focuses on increasing value by improving outcomes while managing costs, the medical affairs function will evolve from being an essential support function to becoming a key strategic function.”

“The medical affairs team has the unique opportunity to gain alignment and lead “win-win” initiatives toward the fundamental mission shared by all parties: the desire to make a meaningful difference in improving patient health. In our medical affairs team at AstraZeneca, we hold the strong belief that as we work together to improve the health of patients, we also increase the strength of our business.”

Dr. Yee says that internally, the medical affairs function serves as an essential bridge between the R&D and commercial organizations. While externally, he says, the medical affairs team engages providers, payers, and policymakers about issues of shared concern such as the development and use of real-world evidence.

AstraZeneca’s collaboration with HealthCore designs real-world studies to determine how to most effectively and economically treat disease. Analysis of the resulting data can assess treatment impact on hospital length of stay, readmissions, overall health status, cost of care and other key evidence-based outcomes.