In recent years, the role of medical affairs within the pharmaceutical industry has been evolving in response to the changing healthcare landscape. The growing emphasis on transparency in decision-making, increasing quantity and accessibility of health-related data, and the expanding role of patients in personal healthcare decision making -- are a few examples of the key driving factors underlying the change. Responsible for bridging pharmaceutical development to commercialisation, medical affairs personnel navigating through an increasingly complex healthcare environment need to have an optimal blend of scientific knowledge, communication skills, and business acumen to succeed in their role. Despite the rapid growth of the pharmaceutical industry and an increasing recognition of the importance of the medical affairs function within the region, there are few training programmes specifically designed to develop medical affairs professionals. Clinical expertise and medical knowledge are no longer the main requisites for this role. Targeted training is necessary to help professionals tap into their medical and clinical expertise, while responding quickly and strategically to the ever-changing industry and regulatory trends.
To address the competency and development needs arising from this evolving role, the Centre of Regulatory Excellence (CoRE) at Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS) and Janssen Asia Pacific, have formed the Joint Alliance Duke-NUS Education (JADE), a certificate programme specialising in Medical Affairs.
Drawing on the extensive experience of Duke-NUS Medical School, JADE was designed to provide professionals involved in medical affairs with the necessary opportunities to develop and strengthen their core competencies. Executive Director of CoRE, Associate Professor John Lim, stated: "Through the JADE programme, medical and healthcare professionals who are interested in developing their career within the pharmaceuticals industry will be able to enhance their scientific knowledge and business acumen across a number of important areas, in addition to gaining information on latest industry trends, regulations and operations in medical affairs."
This programme was made possible with the support of an unrestricted educational grant provided by Janssen Asia Pacific. Janssen's support for this programme is a reflection of their long-standing commitment to partner with academia, governments, healthcare professionals, and other key stakeholders to develop integrated solutions that will improve healthcare delivery in the Asia Pacific.
Kris Sterkens, Company Group Chairman of Janssen Asia Pacific commented: "We are delighted to be partnering with the Duke-NUS Medical School on the launch of the JADE certificate programme in medical affairs. At Janssen Asia Pacific, we believe that clinical research, alongside our work in medical affairs, holds the key to addressing unmet medical needs. The JADE programme will provide robust career development opportunities for people working in medical affairs, with a relentless focus on quality and compliance, and the ultimate aim of improving patient care."
Reducing the regional competency gap in medical affairs will have far-reaching benefits for patients. Medical affairs is the key to bringing new and innovative therapies from the research laboratory to patients and ensuring their optimal use and availability to patients most in need.