How Much Do Medical Science Liaisons Make?

January 6, 2024

Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs) are highly skilled healthcare professionals with a specific niche role within pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies. They act as a scientific peer, providing KOLs with non-branded clinical data and supporting them with unbranded information for their drug/device/therapy. They also work on educating the field on disease state discussions and promoting a company’s pipeline products.

They are often road warriors, travelling to a region to visit KOLs and attend conferences. Depending on the company, MSLs may be required to present to health care providers and medical students.

Generally speaking, MSLs are extremely well-compensated for their expertise and dedication to their roles. They typically receive a base salary well above the national average, with the amount increasing as they gain more experience and climb up the career ladder.

The MSL Society conducted a 2021 MSL Salary Survey, obtaining responses from 2,149 MSL professionals worldwide representing various sized Pharmaceutical, Biotech and Medical Device companies along with CROs, Diagnostics and Contract MSL organizations. The survey also analyzed MSL salary levels by therapeutic area with Hematology/Oncology, Addiction, Cardiovascular, Neurology, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Transplantation and Managed Care delivering the highest median salaries.

As you can see, there is a wide range in base salary for MSLs, and this tends to be the case with most positions across the industry. However, it’s important to remember that MSLs are excluded from sales-based bonus incentives. Despite this, they must be highly motivated to excel in their roles and should be comfortable with frequent travel and being out of the office for a good portion of the time.

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