Medical Affairs Strategy Lead - Pulmonary/Allergy

Upper Gwynedd, PA
Jul 25, 2018
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Merck & Co., Inc. Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. known as Merck in the United States and Canada, is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines and animal health products. The difference between potential and achievement lies in the spark that fuels innovation and inventiveness; this is the space where Merck has codified its legacy for over a century. Merck’s success is backed by ethical integrity, forward momentum, and an inspiring mission to achieve new milestones in global healthcare.

Merck is on a quest for cures and is committed to being the world’s premier, most research-intensive biopharmaceutical company. Today, we’re doubling down on this goal. Merck Research Laboratories is a true scientific research facility of tomorrow, and will take Merck’s leading discovery capabilities and world-class small molecule and biologics R&D expertise to create breakthrough science that radically changes the way we approach serious diseases.

The US Medical Affairs Strategy Lead (MASL) is a fully prepared, business minded scientist/clinician with exemplary leadership abilities. This position requires an individual who can roll up their sleeves and is a strategic thinker and communicator with strong understanding of data and the US marketing including decision makers.

This leader will provide strong matrix leadership for a high performing cross-functional medical team in developing and executing the US Medical Affairs strategy for assets in development or marketed products. The leader should also be focused on aligning all internal parties on Medical Benefit-Risk Evidence based positions and deeply understanding the patient journey and applying critical insights into determining the medical needs and strategy.  This role will also provide strategic medical input into brand strategies.

The US Medical Affairs Strategy Lead holds primary responsibility for the adaptation of the Global Medical Affairs Strategy& Plans for their assigned assets to the US market.  The MASL Leads the US Medical Affairs Team (MAT) to establish the medical strategy and ensure execution of planned medical tactics. In addition, the US Medical Affairs Strategy Lead contributes to and is a valued co-strategist on cross-functional teams, specifically US Brand Teams, VEST teams, and assigned Product Development sub teams.  The US Medical Affairs Strategy Lead demonstrates influence in the external scientific community via peer-to-peer engagement with top scientific leaders and executes Expert Input Forums to remain on the leading edge of therapeutic and patient care advances.

Primary Activities:

Asset Management & Business Leadership

  • Consolidate actionable medical insights from US, translate into Medical Affairs priorities and strategies, including research, data analysis, scientific communication, education, and other tactics and solutions that improve patient outcomes and enhance access in the US. Medical Affairs Strategy Lead is responsible for collaborating with HS MASL in developing the TA IDS Strategy.
  • Contribute substantively to and be a valued co-strategist on asset cross-functional meetings: GMAT, US Franchise Teams, assigned PDT Sub teams, and Clinical, Value-Evidence and Commercial Product Development Sub teams.
  • Lead US Medical Affairs Team (USMAT) and Functional Team meetings for assigned asset(s).
  • Facilitate towards having integrated data generation plans, propose study concepts and clinical and outcomes research projects with MRL & CORE to address LCM needs in the US.  Advise on areas of interest for the Investigator-Initiated Study Program of relevance. 
  • Develop Clinical and Value Evidence Communication & Scientific exchange strategy for Med Affairs that effectively represents the asset’s data and value proposition and addresses key stakeholder audiences (payers, HCPs and patients).
  • Support execution of and quickly adapt portfolio of tactics to business realities (i.e. prompt deployment of new information to the field medical staff, identify data analysis needs and publication needs)
  • May act as consultant/liaison with other corporations/partners when working under licensing agreements and/or in the evaluation of new business development opportunities. Maintains an up-to-date analysis of competitor product information
  • Medical Affairs Strategy Lead is responsible for developing the TA IDS Strategy in collaboration with HSMASL for the field  execution

Scientific & Technical Leadership

  • Contribute the US perspective into the development of the Global Medical Affairs Plan (GMAP)
  • Communicates both scientific and business needs credibly and effectively across a variety of internal and external stakeholders at all levels
  • Contributions through GMA into MISP and Sponsored Protocol Review Committees
  • Build trust with external scientific community through peer-to-peer interactions, research and educational collaborations, scientific societies and health organizations, publications, or other.
  • Provide therapeutic/functional training to assigned teams
  • Develop and execute US medical educational programs
  • Participate in and contribute significantly to internal or external trade, professional society, or quality organizations, and academic or regulatory working teams
  • Lead US advisory boards and expert input forums to inform company strategy.


Education Minimum Requirement:

  • MD, PhD or PharmD is required; recognized expertise through 5+ yrs. clinical and/or research experience
  • 4+ years pharmaceutical (or related) industry experience with proven track record of contribution to medical, clinical or commercial strategies

Required Experience and Skills:

Skills (include specific skill levels required to apply Merck Leadership Principles)

  • Strategic thinking, as demonstrated by a history of developing Medical Affairs Plans and Strategies that address asset value proposition, and clinical and value evidence.
  • Customer interaction experience as evidenced by having a network of scientific leaders and successful interactions with key stakeholders (e.g., public groups, government officials, medical professional organizations, scientific leaders) in therapy area(s)
  • Proven ability to effectively influence company decisions
  • Proven ability to effectively communicate information at management level, and/or with public groups and to scientific leaders.
  • Excellent interpersonal, analytical, communication (written as well as oral) and results oriented project management skills.
  • Strong prioritization skills and ability to understand how decisions fit into the broader context of corporate strategies in a matrix environment, able to effectively collaborate across divisions and function.
  • Problem Solving Skills - Brings a high level of intelligence and curiosity to work. Able to apply mature business judgment in making decisions.  Creatively and effectively challenges the thinking of others.  Capable and effective in negotiations.  Able to see the cultural and personal implications of decisions and plan for them.
  • Influencing Skills - Able to establish rapport, value and respect within a complex and highly technical environment.  Able to convey ideas and influence directly and indirectly.  Able to initiate and effectively lead change efforts. Clearly knows the meaning of teamwork and accountability.
  • Interpersonal Skills - Able to establish and build critical working relationships across the organization and with alliance partners.  Strong personal credibility and communication skills.  Comfortable and capable in a variety of cultures and skilled in working in an entrepreneurial and driven culture.  Stable, mature personality with high emotional intelligence is critical for this role.
  • Strategic Thinking/Business Acumen - Able to demonstrate a high level of strategic thinking and business acumen within a strong and well-educated group in order to effectively manage internal and external relationships and gain credibility in the role.
  • Results and Action Oriented - Driven to excel and capable of inspiring others to excellence as well.  Able to envision a winning future for the organization and then help turn the vision into reality through hands-on action.  Accepts the accountability for results of the team and provides clear direction with input from others.

Your role at Merck is integral to helping the world meet new breakthroughs that affect generations to come, and we’re counting on your skills and inventiveness to help make meaningful contributions to global medical advancement. At Merck, we’re inventing for life. 

If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request to

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Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

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