A 2-Day Training Course Delivered By
Chris Toller

Chris Toller

  • Leading international consultant in pharmaceutical medical affairs who has worked with medical affairs teams in Europe, the USA as well as in emerging markets in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
  • Chris’ professional roles have included Managing Director at Choice Healthcare Solutions, Head of Strategy for the Choice Group, and Founder & MD of one of the UK’s first specialist medical communications agencies.
  • Devised medical affairs strategies and implemented programmes to support more than 50 medical brands on behalf of the world’s leading pharma companies.

By Attending This Course, You Will

  1. Be able to manage medical affairs not only from a scientific perspective but also from the perspective of a brand’s commercial success factors.
  2. Learn how medical affairs can contribute to market understanding and to brand development strategy.
  3. Be equipped with the insights and tools to develop a competitive medical affairs strategy and to decide on the optimal tactical mix.
  4. Learn the pros and cons of commonly used medical affairs tactics.
  5. Develop a medical affairs perspective on pharmacoeconomics and market access.
  6. Benefit from Chris' wealth of experience in working with medical affairs departments across a wide spectrum of therapeutic and geographical markets.


Why You Should Attend

In the past, pharma companies were largely fuelled by their own R&D departments developing small-molecule solutions to large patient populations. In that era, sales and marketing took the lead and scientific concerns were very much secondary to promotion.  Medical affairs departments were often a back-office service that made sure the marketing heroes did not let their exuberance for the brand take them too far. 

The Content: Modern Pharma is now facing a new multi-stakeholder and digitalised environment governed by market access hurdles, where the word value influences everything we do. In this new environment, medical affairs departments play a critical role in paving the way for a brand’s commercial success.  Hence this course addresses the need for pharma companies to equip their medical affairs departments with new competencies. 

The Expert: Chris Toller, a physician by education, built a career that has enabled him to work with medical affairs teams all over the world and in just about every therapy area. He has discovered what distinguishes a successful medical affairs executive from the average performer. Apart from being a creative strategic thinker, Chris is an excellent communicator and an inspirational presenter.

Medical Affairs for Modern Pharma is the only available public training course delivered by Chris Toller on this topic.



Day 1 – Insight & Strategy



Welcome & Introduction


The Evolving Role of Medical Affairs in Modern Pharma


  • The changing pharma landscape
  • Implications for medical affairs: more science – more stakeholders – more data sources – more scrutiny – more demands
11:00Coffee Break


Group Exercise 1 - Medical Affairs in Pharma and Vaccine Markets

  • Identify key stakeholders and principal functions for medical affairs. Build a matrix of key strategic objectives by stakeholder


How Medical Insight Can Inform Market Understanding

  • Sources of insight
  • Understanding customers: Prescribers – Patients – Payers
  • Exploring the market potential within a therapy area
    • Defining the patient journey
    • Patient population estimation and forecasting
    • Identifying and influencing therapeutic opportunities
  • The competitive landscape
    • Medical interpretation of market research
    • Beyond efficacy and tolerability
  • Evaluating and prioritising needs
    • What are the unmet needs for prescribers and patients?
    • Which are most likely to determine behaviour?
  • Current and future trends


How Medical Insight Contributes to Brand Development Strategy

  • Bringing a forensic approach to brand analysis
    • Medical perspectives on brand assets and attributes
    • How valuable is a SWOT analysis?
    • Stakeholder attitudes, preferences and perceptions
    • How can medicine help to build the emotional component of the brand?
  • Clinical studies
    • Is your clinical development programme fit for purpose?
    • Identifying data gaps
    • Medical input to phase IIIb/IV plans & patient registries
    • How to maximise the value from clinical studies with a scientific platform
    • Beyond clinical studies: Utilising real-world experience
  • Medical affairs contribution to brand value
    • Brand positioning
    • Creating a scientific narrative for the brand
15:15Coffee Break


Defining Medical Affairs Strategy

  • Effective medical affairs is a culture – and it starts in your office!
  • Understand your resources and assemble your forces
  • Defining objectives and setting priorities


Group Exercise 2 – Defining a Medical Affairs Strategy

  • Each group will be provided with clinical and market data related to a pre-launch biotech product. On that basis, the groups will need to prepare key points of a medical affairs strategy, which they must present and defend
  • Group presentations and discussion




Group Dinner


Day 2 - Planning & Implementation



Background to Medical Communications

  • Targets, objectives, resources and priorities


Physician and HCP Engagement


  • Advisory boards and advocacy: Setting the right objectives and how to do it effectively
  • Clinical studies as a tool for clinician engagement
  • Scientific publications and congresses: How to get the best value for money & time?
  • Communication and educational programmes: How do you get doctors to take part?
  • Clinical preceptorships
  • Value of digital media
10:45Coffee Break


Patients - The Emerging Power


What Medical Affairs Needs to Know about Pharmacoeconomics

  • Overview of pharmacoeconomics
  • Economic modelling and analysis
  • How payers take decisions
  • Demonstrating value to payers



Group Exercise 3 - An Entrepreneurial Challenge

15:15Coffee Break


Medical Affairs Leadership

  • Defining a medical affairs culture:
    • Values, behaviours & competences
    • Internal vs. external profile
  • Leadership vs. management
  • Recruiting and training


Final Discussion




Learning Methodology

Chris Toller has a reputation as an excellent communicator and an inspirational presenter. You can thus expect his course to be very dynamic and lively, with interactive lectures alternating with group work and plenary discussion sessions.

One of the most valuable aspects of attending any C.E.L.forpharma course is not only being able to have your specific questions answered by a leading expert, but also having the opportunity to share experiences and have in-depth discussions with your international peers.

infoThe typical audience size of our courses ranges from 6 to 24 (max) participants.

Who Should Attend?

  • As the impact of medical affairs activities on the commercial success of new pharmaceuticals has increased dramatically, all medical affairs executives will benefit from this course.
  • This course is particularly suitable for medical affairs executives involved in preparing the market for a new pharmaceutical during the pre-launch phase, as well as new executives in medical affairs departments.
  • Suppliers of professional services to the medical affairs departments in the healthcare industry who need to understand how their capabilities can better address the new challenges for pharmaceutical medical affairs.

As this course is delivered by Chris Toller, a leading international consultant in pharmaceutical medical affairs, other professional service executives should request approval prior to registering for this course. Please contact Annelies Swaan, Head of Business Operations, for more information (annelies.swaan@celforpharma.com,  tel +32 (0)2 709 01 42).


Past Participants

Below is a non-exhaustive list of past participants who have benefited from attending this course.


Job Title



Medical Advisor ImmunologyAbbVieRomania
Senior Clinical ScientistAblynxBelgium
Medical Science Liaison/Diagnostics Specialist PNHAlexionBelgium
Senior Global Medical Affairs ManagerALKDenmark
Medical Affairs LeadBoehringer IngelheimGermany
Associate VPFerringDenmark
Medical Affairs Director RxGaldermaFrance
Project Manager Medical AffairsGenzymeNetherlands
Medical Excellence ManagerGenzymeGermany
Medical Affairs ManagerGrünenthalSpain
Medical Affairs ProfessionalLillyUnited Kingdom
Global Medical Affairs DirectorMerck GroupAustria
Medical OfficerMundipharmaBelgium
Medical Scientific LiaisonPierre FabrePoland
Innovation LeaderRocheSwitzerland
Head of Management Office – Diabetes and Cardiovascular Medical AffairsSanofiFrance
Senior Manager, Medical AffairsSanofi-Pasteur MSDFrance
Division DirectorServierFrance
Organisation ManagerServierFrance
Medical ManagerShireBelgium
NHS DoctorSt Georges Hospital NHS TrustUnited Kingdom
Clinical Research AssociateSwiss Group for Clinical Cancer ResearchSwitzerland
Sr. Program Manager, Global Medical AffairsTakedaSwitzerland
Medical Affairs ManagerTillotts PharmaSwitzerland
Director, New Product PlanningUCBBelgium
Medical AnalystVeeva SystemsGermany



Dates & Locations

All C.E.L.forpharma courses are held in top-class four or five star hotels situated in easily accessible locations, either close to an international airport or near public transportation links in city centre locations.


  • 10-11 October 2017, Zurich

This course takes place at the Hilton Zurich Airport Hotel which is located just five minutes from Zurich Kloten Airport with the complimentary shuttle. Zurich’s vibrant city centre is located only a fifteen minutes’ drive away.


Address: Hohenbuehlstrasse 10, Opfikon-Glattbrugg 8152, Switzerland
Tel: +41 44 828 50 50


Hotel Booking Assistance

Having built a strong relationship with each hotel, C.E.L.forpharma has secured preferential room rates for our delegates who book their accommodation three weeks or more prior to the course. Upon your registration, we will help you make your hotel booking. For any assistance in this matter please do not hesitate to contact Sarah Nissen, Programme Coordinator (sarah.nissen@celforpharma.com, tel +32 (0)2 709 01 46).

Included in the Registration Fee

  • Course Material (Digital & Print Versions)
  • Coffee, Tea & Refreshments During the Course
  • Lunch During the Course
  • A Group Dinner on the First Day
  • Certificate of Attendance Signed by the Expert


Group Discounts

Team discounts can be offered to 3 or more delegates from the same company. Contact Annelies Swaan, Head of Business Operations, (annelies.swaan@celforpharma.com) for more details.


How to Register

  1. Click the "Register Here" button on this page.
  2. Choose a course date, then fill out your personal details in step 1 and company / invoicing details in step 2.
  3. Choose to pay via bank transfer / invoice or by credit card.
  4. Click "Confirm Registration". You will be sent an automatic email confirming your registration followed by a personal email containing a pro-forma invoice and further payment instructions.

For assistance in registering, raising a PO or invoicing, please do not hesitate to contact Britt De Cat.
(email: britt.decat@celforpharma.com or call: +32 2 709 01 44)


Transfer & Cancellation Policy

Flexible Transfer

  • If a registrant cannot attend the scheduled course, he/she can avoid any cancellation charge by sending a suitable replacement participant.
  • Alternatively the registrant can transfer once on a “space available” basis at no extra cost, until 1 week prior to the event, to another course held within one year of the original course date.

Participant Cancellation

  • Cancelling 5 weeks or more prior to the course: cancellation fee of €250.
  • Cancelling 4 to 3 weeks prior to the course: 25% of the invoiced registration fee.
  • Cancelling 14 to 7 working days prior to the course: 50% of the invoiced registration fee.
  • Fewer than 7 working days or if no notification received: registrant liable to pay invoiced registration fee.
  • If a registrant postpones his/her participation to a future course, and cancels again, no refund can be claimed for paid registration fees.

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