As part of my effort to uncover how my US colleagues are putting our global responsible business principles into practice in the US, and to better understand the expanded role of our in-house experts (aka: Medical Science Liaisons or MSLs), I spoke with George, GSK Medical Science Liaison Director. George has his Pharm.D., is based in Dallas, TX, has worked for GSK for fourteen years, and manages of a team of eight other MSLs.
George represents GSK's commitment to driving a values-based approach to our sales and marketing practices around the world. Last year, GSK completed the roll-out of our new sales compensation model globally, and as of January of this year, we no longer pay external healthcare professionals (HCPs) to speak to other prescribers about our prescription medicines and vaccines. I hope you'll take some time to read through my interview with our very own "Science Liason Leader."
Katie: What does this transformation of our commercial model mean to you?
George: I grew up wanting to help patients as a community pharmacist. It was during pharmacy school at Xavier that I had an internship with GSK: a two-month sales assignment. I did well and enjoyed my experience so much that I decided to join GSK upon graduation. I started as a GSK sales representative, grew into the MSL role, and now lead a team of eight MSLs.
MSLs are at the heart of our global commercial model changes. As you know, we no longer pay external doctors to speak about our products, but of course our customers still expect a high level of information and engagement. GSK MSLs are rising to the challenge. They are answering questions and providing important, accurate information to support the safe and effective use of our medicines.
MSLs have a critical role in our new commercial model. I’m honored to be able to lead a team of MSLs as we navigate this new way of working, and I’m proud to be a part of this larger transformation at GSK.
Katie: Tell me more about how the changes are unfolding.
George: Our MSLs are really embracing their new role. I often go to their presentations and I hear great feedback from the audience. Doctors are impressed with our level of knowledge and ability to engage. I think our strong focus on quality is helping us earn trust.
Nobody can deny that GSK takes building trust seriously. Trust is one of the most important, foundational principles of business; it is essential for success. And for two years in a row, GSK has ranked #1 in both trust and customer value. But just because we are the most trusted company in our industry now, doesn’t mean we will be next year. We must continually earn it. And our MSLs are doing just that. They are actively seeking feedback. We want to stay in-step with expectations, continuously improve, and be even more effective and informative as we convey high quality scientific information.
Katie: What has stood out to you in this change process?
George: Sometimes it’s not the change but how it is led. We have the right leadership – from the President of the US business to commercial, to medical – and this leadership has aligned around the change. They’ve simplified and enhanced the model, and we are realizing success. It feels fantastic to see a new way of working that is both good for business and good for patients and society.”
I am personally passionate about seeing GSK continue to succeed with this new model. I want everyone on my team to be able to look back ten years from now and feel proud of the positive impact we’ve had on the business and even more for patients and customers because we executed well. My top priority is helping my team do their best in this new way of working because ultimately it is in the best interest of patients – and that’s been my motivation from the start.
Learn more about our commitments to “our behaviour” and our progress promoting values in our sales and marketing practices.
This blog is part of a series through which Katie Loovis, GSK Director of US Corporate Responsibility, interviews US employees to understand how they are putting our global responsible business principles into practice in America.