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.

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

Agenda of the Medical Affairs for Modern Pharma course

Important: all hours are noted in Brussels Time, so carefully convert into your local time zone!

Day 1 – Data, Insight & Communication 



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


Insight – The Currency of Medical Affairs


  • What is medical insight?
  • Group exercise: gaining & using insight
  • Patient journey and patient flow modelling
  • Medical insight and clinical development
11:45Coffee Break


Big Data and Real World Evidence


  • Characteristics and risks of Big Data
  • RCT vs RWE
  • Addressing data gaps


How Can Medical Insight Contribute to Brand Development?

  • Pharma branding: transforming a medicine into a promise of value
  • Brand identity and brand positioning: static and dynamic brand components
  • SWOT analysis – how to make yours even better
  • Vision-Goals-Objectives-Strategies-Tactics


Medical Insight Supporting Brand Communications

  • Communication: shaping belief and behaviour
  • Developing a medical communications plan: lexicon, scientific platform, message architecture 


Medical Communications - Focus on HCPs

  • Understanding communication channels
  • Basis of market segmentation
  • HCP engagement tactics: tips & tricks
  • Digital and multichannel communication
  • Getting the best from agencies
15:45Coffee Break


Group Exercise – Medical Affairs Insights & Brand Strategy

  • 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 affairs strategy, which they present and defend with the group




Day 2 - Medical Affairs Vision, Strategy & Leadership 



Patients and Patient Centricity

  • What is patient centricity?
  • Patient advocacy and communication


Digital Communications

  • Multichannel communications and programme development
  • Multichannel model
  • Using social media for medical communications
10:15Coffee Break


What Medical Affairs Needs to Know About Pharmacoeconomics and Market Access


  • Basics of pharmacoeconomics
  • Incremental and marginal value – the basis of choice
  • Types of pharmacoeconomic analysis
  • The Incremental Cost Effectiveness Ratio (ICER), cost-effectiveness plane and thresholds
  • Using QALYs



Group Exercise: Defining the Role and Value of Medical Affairs

  • Define the role of Medical Affairs by categorising different tasks into 6 Domains of Medical Affairs excellence


Group Exercise: Demonstrating Value of Medical Affairs

  • Work in groups to identify measures of value and excellence


Strategy and Leadership in Medical Affairs

  • Sources of power
  • Skills and competencies 
  • From management to leadership
  • Emotional intelligence, social styles, active listening
  • Characteristics of highly effective medical affairs

Coffee Break


Defining and Implementing a Vision for Medical Affairs

  • Structure and culture for the medical affairs function
  • Internal perceptions – how do our colleagues see us?
  • Group exercise: defining vision and strategy


Course review and summary



>> 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 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, 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

Currently all CELforPharma courses are planned to only be held live online (hosted in Zoom) until international travel is back to normal.​​​​

  • 16-17 March 2021, live online

  • 22-23 June 2021, live online

  • 28-29 September 2021, live online

  • 7-8 December 2021, live online

Included in the Registration Fee​

  • Access to an 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


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.
  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 at no extra cost, until 3 weeks prior to the event, to another course held before 31 December 2021.

Participant Cancellation

  • Up to 6 weeks prior to the course: cancellation fee of € 400 per participant.
  • Up to 5 weeks prior to the course: 25% of the invoiced registration fee.
  • Up to 4 weeks prior to the course: 50% of the invoiced registration fee.
  • Up to 3 weeks prior to the course: 75% of the invoiced registration fee.
  • Fewer than 3 weeks 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 registration fees.

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