Customer Story: Avanir Pharmaceuticals MSLs

Avanir Pharmaceuticals’ MSLs Leverage Qstream to Drive Value-Added Physician Conversations

“The response to Qstream was so strong that we had MSLs completing challenges while on vacation to maintain their high score!”

Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs) play a critical role in Avanir’s efforts to bring innovative therapies to patients with central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Avanir MSLs typically have advanced training and doctoral degrees in the life sciences to support their role as educators to physicians and other opinion leaders. Internally, they collaborate with R&D colleagues and consult with sales reps who rely on their expertise to address specific questions that come up in the field.

The Challenge

MSL success relies on their ability to secure access to clinicians and conduct conversations that demonstrate value to the physician and their patients. In addition to conveying expertise on specific therapeutic areas, they must also be knowledgeable on topics beyond their core focus. Avanir MSLs must effectively communicate scientific and medical information on CNS-related drug products to the medical community on a regular basis, develop a broader understanding of areas such as psychiatry and geriatric information, and keep up with competitive intelligence, clinical trends, scientific research and changing regulations. A key conduit for medical research, they are required to have important medical information top of mind at any given point in time.

“Given the broad scope of knowledge required, our MSLs receive training on a regular basis. However, between trainings they are relegated to reading various articles, or reviewing PowerPoint slides to keep critical information fresh in their minds,” said John Drum, senior director, medical affairs, Avanir Pharmaceuticals. “When we were considering various solutions, we looked for a more efficient way to reinforce knowledge that is highly scientific, guided by data, and requires consistent practice to achieve fluency.”

The Solution

Avanir selected Qstream’s SaaS, mobile-first platform to increase MSL proficiency on key topics encompassing products, clinical trials, and related neurological conditions, and to drive long-term knowledge retention of the critical scientific data required for value-added physician conversations. Using Qstream, Avanir MSLs responded to scenario-based challenges pushed to their mobile devices, while leaderboards and scoring kept them fully engaged in friendly competition with their peers. At the same time, Qstream’s data analytics engine synthesized response data to provide insights into proficiency gaps across regions, while coaching recommendations were delivered to managers who then followed up with the necessary coaching sessions. “The response to Qstream was so strong that we even had MSLs completing Qstreams while on vacation to maintain their high score! We had to make it clear that their scores would not be impacted by the timing of their Qstream responses, but the healthy competition generated was invigorating for the whole team,” Drum said.

The Results

In just five weeks, Avanir MSLs increased their proficiency on key topics from a baseline of 64% to 82% using Qstream, while leaderboards and scoring led to 92% engagement. “The significant increase in proficiency resulting from Qstream certainly exceeded our initial expectations,” said Drum. “And, the leaderboards and scoring kept the team coming back for more. It was clear that Qstream had a strong effect on fluency, providing higher ROI for our training investments and positioning our MSLs to have the conversations that drive adoption of our first-in-class therapies.”

About Avanir Pharmaceuticals

Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on bringing innovative medicines to patients with central nervous system disorders of high unmet medical need. It is a subsidiary of Otsuka America, Inc. (OAI), a holding company established in the U.S. in 1989. OAI is wholly owned by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. The Otsuka Group employs approximately 42,000 people globally, and its products are available in more than 80 countries worldwide.