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Delve Deeper - Medical Affairs

Within the pharmaceuticals industry, medical affairs professionals are responsible for supporting and planning the research, development and launch of medical products, ensuring that the company makes a profit and markets items in an ethical way.

As a niche role in a candidate-driven sector, there is generally a high demand for medical affairs personnel in both contract and permanent positions. Due to the tight regulations, confidentiality and expert knowledge required for a role in medical affairs, positions in this area are usually permanent and they are rarely endangered by the threat of outsourcing.

Hays Life Sciences is a recruitment specialist in the pharmaceuticals industry, providing mid to upper level staff on a global scale. We are committed to filling any talent gaps and we have developed a range of unique recruitment solutions to help find the right medical affairs candidate for a position. Options include global searching, where we source talent from around the world, assisting them with their sponsorship, visa applications and re-location as necessary.

A career in medical affairs

Those seeking a career in medical affairs should have a strong medical background with significant clinical experience. In most cases, applicants should be GMC-registered physicians and members of the Royal College of Physicians. In some cases, pharmacists or those with degrees in other life sciences may be eligible.

In most situations, those entering the medical affairs industry in the UK will do so after having completed a rotation period with the NHS as a senior house officer or registrar.

Typically, vacancies in medical affairs are for the most junior and senior positions, with mid-level positions being much less common. Those entering the industry will often do so as a clinical physician, undertaking investigations and liaising with patients.

After some time, medical affairs professionals may progress to advisory roles, supporting a company's commercial activities. Medical affairs professionals with solid experience may also find success in the freelancing market.

For those seeking a medical affairs position abroad, there are many opportunities in the UK, Europe, the US, Australia and Asia. With the recent trend of pharmaceuticals companies merging or relocating to Switzerland, roles in Swiss companies are quite prevalent, while other companies are investing in emerging markets such as Japan, China and Africa.

Remuneration for positions in medical affairs can vary significantly, depending on the level of the role, the company, the location and the candidate's experience. Generally, medical affairs professionals can expect to receive between £45,000 and £100,000 per year.

Job roles in medical affairs

Positions in medical affairs are extremely varied and each requires specific knowledge and abilities. However, every role will require a strong foundation of networking and presentation skills, with a capacity to communicate clearly. Additionally, a sound commercial awareness will be of great benefit.

Medical affairs executives and consultants work closely with clinicians and administrators to manage feedback in regards to specific products, conducting investigations and preparing reports as necessary.

Medical affairs managers and directors are heads of departments and work closely with various teams to provide medical support and advice.

Medical advisors provide opinions and authority on all legal, medical and regulatory matters, ensuring compliance with the relevant statutory requirements. They also provide input on business strategies and develop relationships with key influencers and external organisations.

Clinical research physicians in medical affairs provide medical and scientific expertise, consulting on a number of projects. They may also oversee the medical and safety monitoring activities of specific studies, working to ensure compliance.

Hays Life Sciences: helping you find or fill a vacancy in medical affairs

At Hays Life Sciences, we have many years of experience helping to find and fill vacancies across the pharmaceuticals industry. Working in around 25 countries, we have a massive database of qualified candidates and we are committed to finding the right one for each available position.

As experts in our field, we have a detailed understanding of the requirements necessary for a successful medical affairs candidate. We take great pride in providing a robust and useful recruitment service to both our clients and jobseekers and every year, we successfully fill thousands of vacancies, making us the perfect choice for recruitment in the pharmaceuticals sector.

Find the latest Medical Affairs Jobs today.