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The MSL Society recently interviewed Elizabeth Kupferer, Director of Medical Science at Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Elizabeth gives us a brief overview of competitiveness, helpful tips when engaging with a KOL, and the benefits of networking in the MSL profession. Take a look at her responses below!

A sense of competitiveness is integral to success overall, but what are some ways in which competitiveness can negatively impact a collaborative team effort?

 Competitiveness is common among a highly educated and ambitious team.  It is important to provide a sense of teamwork and have that competition be about the group, not the individual. The team should focus on being a productive and a well-appreciated MSL group.   Ways in which competitiveness within an MSL team is a negative is where the group actively competes against each other and avoiding sharing of best practices that essentially hinder the team as a whole.   

 How does networking benefit an MSL?

 Networking is essential to advancing your career as an MSL.  Networking opens you up to other’s best practices and additional insights that may go beyond your current company culture.  

What are 3 helpful tips when engaging with a KOL? 

 1) It is essential to preplan for KOL visits.  You should know and understand your KOL background, interests and current projects, publications, trial involvement, etc. MSLs should be prepared and respectful of the KOLs time and expertise. 

2) An MSL should ensure that the relationship is reciprocal and that you are also bringing value to the relationship. Knowing your KOL well will help you to do this. 

3) Don’t go into a meeting just to meet. Prepare a plan for engagement and always have an agenda to start with, then adapt as the meeting flows.


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