A 2-Day Training Course Delivered By
Maaike Addicks, MD

Maaike Addicks, MD

  • Independent Medical Affairs Consultant with expertise in Strategic Medical Affairs Development, Change Management and Medical Affairs Competency Development.
  • Board Member and currently Chair of the Medical Affairs Committee of the Dutch Association of Pharmaceutical Medicine (NVFG).
  • Physician with over 15 years of on-the-job experience in Medical Affairs in mid-size and big pharma, in both headquarters and national affiliates, across a wide spectrum of therapeutic areas.
  • 10 years of experience in managing Medical Managers, Medical Advisors and MSLs, with both hands-on and strategic experience in Medical Affairs.


  1. To understand the full impact of the MSL role on the success of a pharmaceutical company.
  2. How you, as an MSL, add the greatest value and how to prioritise activities towards maximising this value.
  3. The structure and purpose of a Medical Plan, and how you can contribute to it.
  4. How to perform a SWOT and Confrontation Matrix such that the outcome determines the Critical Success Factors of your tactical plan.
  5. How to identify and map KOLs, how to structure your KOL plan and determine the optimal tactical mix, and how to build relationships based on mutual benefits.
  6. How to optimally plan and implement tactics: Advisory Boards, scientific interchange, CME, etc.
  7. How to optimally contribute to team performance and how to align your activities cross-functionally.

Additional Benefits

  • Share best practices and discuss issues with MSLs from other companies.
  • Discussions will help you to formulate and to better communicate the added value and the role of the MSL in your individual situation.
  • Put the learnings into practice immediately through handy checklists and decision-support tools (e.g. Confrontation Matrix, Advisory Board Checklist, Medical Plan PowerPoint template, KOL planning Excel template).


Why You Should Attend

While the Medical Science Liaison (MSL) function is relatively new in the pharma industry, its role has become even more important during COVID-times, and that will remain so in the future. Therefore, all MSLs absolutely need to acquire critical business acumen competencies as early as possible in their career.  

The impact of MSLs is potentially huge because they act at the forefront of the customer engagement process, at a very high and scientific level. However, to be impactful and make the difference, MSLs must understand how their role fits into the bigger picture and how to work effectively with the other roles in the company. They should know how to plan and implement tactics such that they optimally contribute to the success of a pharma company in its therapeutic markets. The successful MSL understands his/her internal and external stakeholders thoroughly, appreciates what drives them and knows how to add value.

The Content: This course provides you with a complete overview of the MSL function and with the theoretical insights to understand how to achieve the highest impact as an MSL. It is also very practical and hands-on: it dives deeply into the critical success factors and dos & don’ts of MSL tactics, and discusses common issues such as compliance and how to work effectively with other functions like marketing, sales and clinical. The content equips MSLs with concepts and tools to pro-actively plan the most impactful MSL tactics, to effectively implement them, and to work synergistically within teams.

The Expert: Maaike Addicks is a physician with over 15 years of experience in the field of Medical Affairs, having fulfilled many different roles within Medical Affairs departments, both on a local and international level. As a former leader in the Medical Department, she is very familiar with the expectations and challenges of MSLs, the issues they encounter and how to address them. Maaike is a passionate trainer, an excellent moderator and strongly believes in using interaction to increase knowledge and skills.

The Business Acumen for Medical Science Liaisons course is the only available public training course delivered by Maaike Addicks on this topic.


Agenda of the Business Acumen for MSLs course

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

Day 1

Welcome & Audience Expectations (~30 min)

The Role of Medical Affairs – The Growing Impact of MSLs (~2 h 30 min)

  • A typical pharma brand’s lifecycle and the different roles of Medical Affairs along the lifecycle stages
  • The growing importance of the MSL within the pharmaceutical company
  • The difference between the MSL and commercial colleagues
  • Your added value to internal and external stakeholders:
    • How does Medical Affairs impact the success of your company?
    • What do internal stakeholders need from you?
    • How do you add value for your external stakeholders (i.e. KOL, HCP, patients)?
  • The future of Medical Affairs
Lunch Break

Measuring and Demonstrating the Value of the MSL (~30 min)

  • Possibilities and limitations of quantitative vs. qualitative metrics vs. a combination of both

The Medical Plan That Determines All Tactics in Medical Affairs (~2 h 30 min)

  • The strategic importance of the Medical Plan for you and the team
  • Determining and aligning critical elements in the Medical Plan:
    • Analyses
    • Strategic goals
    • Strategies
    • Medical Affairs tactics
  • Analytical tools used to make strategic decisions
    • Gap Analysis
    • The SWOT analysis
    • Group exercise: in small groups the attendees will work out a SWOT for a case-study
    • The Confrontation Matrix
  • Alignment between brand plan, global and local medical plans
  • Optimal timing of your activities during the year and what to consider when making up your budget
  • Using your plan to improve cross-functional collaboration

Close of Day 1


Day 2

Recap of Day 1 (~15 min)

KOL Planning & Engagement (~3 h 15)

  • The importance and role of the KOL for pharma
  • How to identify and map KOLs:
    • Who are your KOLs?
    • Different ways to map your KOLs
    • The importance of emerging KOLs
  • Setting operational and strategic goals for your KOLs
  • Strategic alignment between your Medical Plan and your KOL plan
  • Choosing the right tactics for your KOLs
  • Example of a KOL plan template
  • Digital Opinion Leaders (DOLs) and Emerging KOLs
  • Finding the mutual benefit: what do KOLs want/expect/need from pharma
  • Tips for successful KOL engagement
Lunch Break

Tactical Planning (~1 h)

  • Choosing the best Medical Affairs tactics to achieve your goals
  • Tips for prioritising and timing your tactics optimally
  • Assessing the ROI of your Medical Affairs tactics by mapping on impact, reach and effort

Diving Deeper into MSL Tactics (~1 h 45 min)

  • Interactive session discussing most commonly used tactics such as: face-to-face discussions, scientific presentations, symposia, round tables, data generation and medical projects.
  • Medical Affairs goes digital: how to increase your impact online
  • Focus on the Advisory Board: 9,5 steps for a successful Advisory Board

Final Q&A (~15 min)


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

Learning Methodology

Maaike is a passionate trainer with a strong preference for interactive learning styles. Her online MSL course includes group exercises and discussions, polls, whiteboard exercises, virtual break-out rooms, reading assignments, and plenary discussion sessions, all of which are designed to enable participants to not only apply the theory but also effectively learn from their peers. You also receive additional training materials and tools that you can refer to and use after completion of the course.

Real life examples from the Medical Affairs point of view will be used and discussed, and tools will be provided so that delegates can use the acquired new skills and knowledge in their daily job.

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 meet, 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?

This is the perfect course for all Medical Science Liaisons with a scientific profile that either have been recently recruited or only have some years of experience as an MSL (0-5 yrs).

As this course is delivered by Maaike Addicks, an Independent Medical Affairs Consultant,  executives from other professional service agencies 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



Sr. Director Medical Affairs EMEAAbbottBelgium
Medical Science LiaisonAbbVieThe Netherlands
Teamlead Medical Science Liaison DermatologyAbbVieGermany
Medical Science Liaison Manager NeurologyAlexion PharmaGermany
Medical Science LiaisonAlexion PharmaGermany
Medical Science Liaison ManagerAlmirallUnited Kingdom
Medical Science LiaisonAstellasGreece
Medical Science LiaisonDaiichi SankyoUnited Kingdom
Corporate Medical AffairsDr. SchärItaly
International MSL Associate DirectorIpsen PharmaFrance
International MSL DirectorIpsen PharmaFrance
Medical Science Liaison Thrombosis BeneluxLEO PharmaBelgium
Medical Science LiaisonMedisCroatia
Global MSL Excellence ManagerMerckGermany
Director Medical AffairsMorphoSys AGGermany
Business Operations Lead Oncology EUCANMSDUnited Kingdom
Medical Science LiaisonNovartisThe Netherlands
Senior Medical Manager - InsulinsNovo NordiskSwitzerland
Clinical Science ManagerONO Pharma UKUnited Kingdom
Medical Science LiaisonSantenUnited Kingdom
Medical Science LiaisonSantenUnited Kingdom
Postdoctoral Research AssociateUniversity of LiverpoolUnited Kingdom
Medical AdvisorVifor PharmaBelgium
Medical Science LiaisonVifor PharmaAustria



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).

  • 21-22 September 2023, face-to-face in Brussels

    Day 1: 10:00 - 17:00 CET (Brussels/Amsterdam/Paris)
    Day 2: 08:30 - 16:30 CET (Brussels/Amsterdam/Paris)
  • 14-15 December 2023, live online

    Day 1: 10:00 - 17:00 CET (Brussels/Amsterdam/Paris)
    Day 2: 09:30 - 17:00 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).
  • Complementary reading material and MSL tools: Confrontation Matrix, Advisory Board Checklist, Medical Plan PowerPoint template, KOL planning Excel template.
  • Certificate of attendance signed by the expert and CELforPharma.
  • The expert Maaike Addicks, MD is available for Q&A via email after completion of the course.


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.

Related Courses