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Last Updated on February 16, 2024


In the rapidly evolving landscape of healthcare and pharmaceuticals, the need for accurate and up-to-date information has never been greater. Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs) are crucial players in bridging the gap between pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals. While their primary role traditionally involves providing scientific and medical information, MSLs can also play a pivotal role in collecting e-permissions from doctors. In this blog, we will explore the significance of this role and how MSLs can effectively gather opt-ins to foster better communication and collaboration within the healthcare industry.

Understanding e-consent.

Before delving into the role of MSLs, it’s essential to understand what opt-ins are in the context of healthcare. Opt-ins refer to the voluntary consent given by healthcare professionals, particularly doctors, to receive (promotional) information, updates or communication from pharmaceutical companies. These opt-ins can come in various forms, including email subscriptions, participation in medical surveys, attending webinars and more. When asking for an opt-in, it is advised to also ask for the HCPs preferences to tailor the message and content.

Opt-in collection.

This should be dealt with as an ongoing journey. A good way to get started with opt-in collection is by using the telephone channel. In a relatively short period of time, it is possible to collect a large number of opt-ins and preferences. For further collection of opt-ins, all available channels should be used for a longer period of time.

The significance of e-permission.

Obtaining opt-ins from doctors is vital for several reasons:

Regulatory compliance: Many countries and regions have stringent regulations governing the interactions between pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals. Opt-ins provide a clear and documented way to ensure compliance with these regulations, like the GDPR in Europe.

Personalization: Opt-ins (and preferences) allow pharmaceutical companies to tailor their communications to the specific interests and needs of HCPs. This personalization can enhance the relevance and usefulness of the information provided.

Efficient communication: Having a list of opted-in doctors streamlines communication efforts. Companies can reach out to doctors who have expressed interest, reducing the likelihood of unsolicited or unwanted communications.

Enhanced collaboration: Opted-in doctors could be more likely to engage in collaborative activities such as participating in clinical trials, attending conferences or sharing their insights and expertise.

The role of MSLs in collecting opt-ins.

MSLs are uniquely positioned to collect opt-ins from doctors due to their role as trusted scientific advisors. Here’s how MSLs can contribute:

Building trust: MSLs are not sales representatives and doctors often view them as objective sources of medical information. Establishing trust is the first step in encouraging doctors to opt-in for further communication.

Educating on value: MSLs can educate doctors about the value of opting in, emphasizing the benefits of staying informed about the latest research, clinical trials and medical advancements.

Customizing interactions: MSLs can tailor their interactions with doctors to gauge their interests and preferences. This customization ensures that opt-in requests are relevant and aligned with the doctor’s professional goals.

Offering valuable content: MSLs can share valuable content, such as whitepapers, clinical data and scientific insights, as a way to convince doctors to opt-in for more information.

Compliance guidance: MSLs can provide guidance on regulatory requirements and ensure that the opt-in process adheres to all legal and ethical standards.

Feedback loop: MSLs can serve as a feedback channel, relaying doctors’ preferences and concerns to their organisations. This feedback loop can help refine omni-channel communication strategies and improve the opt-in process.

Challenges and considerations.

Collecting opt-ins from doctors is not without its challenges. Some doctors may have concerns about privacy, information overload or potential biases. MSLs should be prepared to address these concerns and provide clear, transparent information about how opt-in data will be used.
Additionally, MSLs must stay up-to-date with evolving regulations regarding data privacy and healthcare interactions. Compliance is paramount and MSLs should work closely with their legal and compliance teams to ensure all opt-in processes align with the law.


In the modern healthcare landscape, the role of MSLs extends beyond providing scientific information. They can serve as essential intermediaries for collecting opt-ins from doctors, facilitating better communication and collaboration between pharmaceutical companies and HCPs. By building trust, offering value and ensuring compliance, MSLs can play a crucial role in gathering opt-ins that benefit both doctors and the pharmaceutical industry as a whole.

What can OptInsight do for you?

We offer solutions and services for pharma & life sciences companies with focus on increasing your reach to healthcare professionals (HCPs).
The OptInsight e-consent and preference management solution allows pharmaceutical companies to manage the collection, storage and use of personal data in a compliant and secure manner. It provides a centralized platform for managing e-consent records (opt-ins AND opt-outs) and preferences, including the mandatory audit trail. It functions as a single source of truth, preventing scattered personal and consent data throughout your company. It also shows the latest consent status and preferences, which allows you to engage with HCPs based on the right data.
With our partner ecosystem, we can also support you on collecting opt-ins (up to 50%) and preferences (increase of up to 50% of HCP preferences), adding touch points to your customer journey with high end phone calls, improving the quality of data collected, creating social media campaigns, construction of websites and building HCP portals. Specially for MSLs, we can provide you with peer reviewed articles, which can be offered to the HCP and used to collect e-consent. Are you interested? Have a look at or contact me at

Schedule a meeting with us.

Tip: involve your colleagues from other departments within your company.
In this way we can instantly answer questions and provide clarity from various points of view.


Marketing & Product Director

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