Since pharmaceutical companies launched Medical Affairs organizations, leaders have found it a challenge to measure and communicate the team’s impact. While other teams like sales and marketing have clear outcome measures, medical affairs has found itself reporting on quantities of activities without having an outcome measure that communicates the true success of the team.

While the ultimate measure of medical affairs is the improvement of patient outcomes, this measure is too long-term to evaluate progress on a regular basis. What is needed is a measure that shows the outcome of the combined efforts of medical strategy, publications, congress involvement, MSL engagement with KOLs, medical education, and the many other teams that are part of medical affairs. This is where Share of Scientific Voice comes in.

The answer comes from a basis in the world of sales and marketing, Share of Voice represents “the relative portion of ad inventory available to a single advertiser within a defined market over a specified time period.” In other words, the Share of Voice metric tells advertisers if the customer heard (or read) about their product more, less than, or equal to competitors’ products. Another term that describes this is Mindshare—“consumer perception of a particular brand or product compared to their rivals as measured by the amount of talk or mentions generated by the public or the media.” Same idea.  In the marketing world there is a belief that the higher one company’s Share of Voice and Mindshare, the higher their sales compared to the competition.

From a medical perspective, we measure something similar.  What is the “share of voice” in the scientific dissemination related to a specific indication.  Take two products as an example.   Over time is the scientific dissemination of one diminishing as the other is increasing?  In preparation for launch is one product engaged with 120 experts with 100 scientific contributions while the other has engaged with 15 experts resulting in 40 contributions.   Are those contributions in high impact journals and congresses or only at a local level?   This is the contribution of medical affairs to the success of a brand.  Working across medical affairs you ensure that we have the right relationships, the right data, the right content, and generate the right insights to have impactful scientific dissemination aligned with your scientific platform. The share of relevant scientific literature related to your product versus others in the same space is your Share of Scientific Voice (SOSV).

Measuring Your Share of Scientific Voice

To find your Share of Scientific Voice, begin with all of the publications and presentations specific to your relevant indications. Then identify how many of the abstracts contain mentions of your product compared to others in your class. This is your overall, big picture, Share of Scientific Voice.

SOSV = Mentions of your product (or strategy) / Mentions of all primary products (or strategies) in indication

You may already have data points like these. Share of Scientific Voice gives them new meaning. It’s a shift from, “Are our efforts having an impact?” to, “Are our efforts relative to other companies having an impact?” The better the question, the more useful the answer.

If you do not have access to those activity metrics yet, do a free search on PubMed or you use premium alternative Pharmaspectra, which will save you time and provide much more accurate results. While PubMed is a great free option, it’s not as thorough since it does not contain meetings data. Pharmaspectra is the best-in-class option because it aggregates more data than any other platform.

After building your foundation Share of Scientific Voice dataset, you can begin using the data for strategy development. This includes looking at the specific journals and publications where the majority of science is being disseminated, see the SOSV of specific meetings for you and competitors, and you can even bring in weightings. Finally, when set up properly, you can also search against specific scientific strategies.

If you’d like to learn how to measure your Share of Scientific Voice or work with a Pharmaspectra partner, reach out to Acceleration Point here.