Pharmaceutical companies employ medical science liaisons (MSLs) to serve as information providers to clients and potential clients -- from insurers to doctors in a medical group.
The demand for MSLs has grown along with the legal and regulatory requirements pharmaceutical companies must satisfy.
MSLs are not sales representatives. They have medical or scientific backgrounds, and so they can provide peer-level interaction in a way that a business person can't. Typically, MSLs have a Ph.D. in the sciences (e.g., nutritional science), a pharmacy degree (PharmD) or an MD. Before becoming a liaison, they often get their start working in medical research or in hospital pharmacies.
In their first year, MSLs can make between $115,000 to $120,000 plus a 10% to 20% bonus on their base. After 5 years, they can make between $125,000 and $135,000 plus bonus.