A 2-Day Training Course Delivered By
Chris Toller

Chris Toller

  • Leading international consultant in pharmaceutical Medical Affairs who has worked with MA teams across the globe.
  • 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. Currently, he is Managing Partner at Havas Life Medicom UK.
  • Devised MA strategies and implemented programmes to support more than 50 medical brands on behalf of the world’s leading pharma companies.


  1. Medical Affairs’ co-leadership role in cross-functional pharma organisations.
  2. How to create, measure and demonstrate VALUE in the Medical Affairs (MA) function.
  3. How medical insights contribute to brand development strategy and a brand’s success in the market.
  4. How to design a Strategic MA Plan that aligns with a company’s strategic goals.
  5. Tips and tricks for Medical Affairs tactics to communicate and engage with physicians, patients and payers.
  6. What MA needs to know about pharmaco-economics and Market Access.
  7. Strategic thinking and leadership skills in the MA function.

Additional Benefits

  • This course is a unique opportunity for Medical Affairs executives from different companies to discuss the issues and challenges they face within their own companies.
  • The exercises in this course can easily be replicated in your own company with your own team(s).


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.

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

Agenda of the Strategic Medical Affairs for Modern Pharma course

For start and end times, please check Dates & Locations below.

Day 1 – Data, Insight & Communication 

Welcome & Introduction (~30 min)

The Evolving Role of Medical Affairs in Modern Pharma (~15 min)

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

Insight – The Currency of Medical Affairs (~1 h 15 min)

  • What is medical insight?
  • Components and sources
  • Group exercise: gaining & using insight

Big Data and Real World Evidence (~45 min)

  • Characteristics of Big Data
  • RCT vs RWE
  • Interpretation and practical use
Lunch Break

How Can Medical Insight Contribute to Brand Development? (~1 h)

  • Understanding the brand development process
  • Building a brand: static and dynamic brand components
  • Medical insight and brand positioning
  • SWOT analysis – how to make yours even better

Scientific Messaging (~30 min)

  • Building a medical communications strategy
  • Scientific platform and brand lexicon
  • Messaging architecture

Communications with HCPs (~45 min)

  • HCP engagement tactics: tips & tricks
    • Ad boards and advocacy programmes
    • Scientific publications
    • Scientific congress planning
    • Medical education
  • Building a medical communications plan

Group Exercise – Medical Affairs Insights & Brand Strategy (~1 h)

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



Day 2 - Strategic Challenges & Leadership

Patients and Patient Centricity (~45 min)

  • Defining the patient journey
  • The search for patient centricity
  • Patient advocacy and communication

Digital Communications (~45 min)

  • Analysis of digital vs conventional media
  • Multichannel digital model for medical communication
  • An integrated digital strategy

What Medical Affairs Needs to Know About Pharmacoeconomics and Market Access (~1 h 30 min)

  • Basics of pharmacoeconomics
  • The concept of incremental value
  • Cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness
  • Cost-utility and the concept of QALYs
  • Basis of choice – understanding ICERs

Lunch Break

Group Exercise: Defining the Role of Medical Affairs (~45 min)

  • Introducing the 6 Domains of Medical Affairs Excellence. Working in groups, attendees will use this framework to define the role of medical affairs.

Group Exercise: Demonstrating the Value of Medical Affairs (~45 min)

  • Work in groups to identify measures of value and excellence
  • Limitations of activity-based KPIs

Strategy and Leadership in Medical Affairs (~30 min)

  • Skills, competences and sources of power
  • Emotional intelligence, social styles, active listening
  • Characteristics of highly effective medical affairs

Defining and Implementing a Vision for Medical Affairs (~45 min)

  • Structure and culture for the medical affairs function
  • Group exercise: defining vision and strategy

Course review and summary (~15 min)


>> Click here if you wish to receive the PDF brochure of this course

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 CELforPharma 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 20 (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.

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, Director Business Operations, for more information (aswaan@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 live online CELforPharma courses are hosted in Zoom.

Our face-to-face courses take place at the Crowne Plaza Brussels Airport (Da Vincilaan 4, 1831 Brussels), a four-star hotel located 5 minutes from Brussels National Airport and 30 minutes by taxi from Brussels South train station (Thalys, TGV, Eurostar).

  • 14-15 June 2023, face-to-face in Brussels

    Day 1: 10:00 - 17:15 CET (Brussels/Amsterdam/Paris)
    Day 2: 09:00 - 16:30 CET (Brussels/Amsterdam/Paris)
  • 19-20 September 2023, face-to-face in Brussels

    Day 1: 10:00 - 17:15 CET (Brussels/Amsterdam/Paris)
    Day 2: 09:00 - 16:30 CET (Brussels/Amsterdam/Paris)
  • 30 November - 1 December 2023, live online

    Day 1: 10:00 - 17:00 CET (Brussels/Amsterdam/Paris)
    Day 2: 09:30 - 16:30 CET (Brussels/Amsterdam/Paris)


Hotel Booking Assistance

As part of our strong relationship with the Crowne Plaza Brussels Airport, CELforPharma has secured a discount on the daily room rate for our delegates who book their accommodation via us. Upon your registration, we will assist you to make your hotel booking. For any assistance in this matter please do not hesitate to contact Kealeigh Steel, Senior Programme Coordinator (kealeigh.steel@celforpharma.com, tel +32 (0)2 709 01 45).

Included in the Registration Fee - for the live online course​

  • Access to a small-class (max 20 participants), expert led course in real-time, using an interactive platform for break-out rooms, whiteboard exercises, polling, plenary discussions and chats.
  • Course material, which will be provided to you in both digital format (by email) and in hard copy (by post, so you can make notes during the course).
  • Certificate of attendance signed by the expert and CELforPharma.


Included in the Registration Fee - for the face-to-face course

  • Participation in a small-class (max 20 participants), expert led face-to-face course with interactive group exercises and plenary discussions. You will have the opportunity to meet the expert(s) and discuss your own projects/issues during the breaks.
  • Course material, which will be provided to you in both digital format (by email) and in hard copy (so you can make notes during the course).
  • Coffee, tea & refreshments during the course.
  • Informal networking lunch.
  • Group dinner in the evening of Day 1.
  • Certificate of attendance signed by the expert and CELforPharma.


Group Discounts

Team discounts can be offered to 3 or more delegates from the same company.
Contact Annelies Swaan, Director Business Operations, (aswaan@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 and company / invoicing details.
  3. Choose to pay via bank transfer or by credit card (through a secure payment link, which you will receive together with the invoice).
  4. Click "Confirm Registration". You will be sent an automatic email confirming your registration followed by a personal email containing an invoice and further payment instructions.

For assistance in registering, raising a PO or invoicing, please do not hesitate to contact Kealeigh Steel.
(email: kealeigh.steel@celforpharma.com or call: +32 2 709 01 45)


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 3 weeks prior to the event, to another course of the same value held within one year of the original course date.

Registration Cancellation

  • Less than 14 days prior to the course date: registrant liable to pay the full invoiced registration fee.
  • Between 15 and 30 days prior to the course date: registrant liable to pay 50% of the invoiced registration fee.
  • More than 30 days prior to the course date: registrant liable to pay a cancellation fee of € 450 per registrant.
  • If a registrant postpones his/her participation to a future course, and cancels again, no refund can be claimed for registration fees.

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