Since we started the blog a year ago, we have been able to feature the experiences of many fellows from our larger programs at Biogen and Sanofi Genzyme. However, this week we are featuring our smallest fellowship program at Sunovion. Meet Matthew Maulis—he is Sunovion’s current First Year in their Medical Information and Medical Review program.
From greater flexibility on rotations to opportunities to join and lead influential projects during your first year, there are many benefits of a fellowship with a smaller program or company. Learn more about MCPHS University’s Sunovion fellowship, Matthew’s first year experience, and what he will be doing when he starts the second half of his program.
Choosing which companies and programs to apply to can be an extremely stressful experience—I know it was when I was trying to decide which programs to apply to. Unlike most of my co-fellows based in the Boston/Cambridge area, Sunovion is located about 40 minutes west of Boston in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Sunovion provides innovative therapies for psychiatric, neurologic, and respiratory conditions. Compared to some of the other MCPHS fellowship partner companies, Sunovion is a smaller-to-medium sized global biopharmaceutical company with nine commercially available products.
What really drew my interest to Sunovion’s fellowship is that it provides training in two different, but very interconnected functional areas, Medical Information and Medical Affairs. Responsibilities within Medical Information include:
- Creating and updating global standard response letters, slide presentations, and Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy dossiers
- Responding to medical inquiries from healthcare professionals by conducting literature analyses and developing customized medical responses
- Providing medical information support at scientific meetings
Medical Affairs is a broad term that encompasses Field Medical Science, Scientific Communications, Publications, and serves to provide scientific and clinical support for commercial products. Some of the responsibilities within Medical Affairs can include managing and building relationships with key thought leaders, analyzing clinical data, poster/publication development, strategic planning for mature and launch products, and many other activities.
The first year of the Sunovion fellowship is spent working within Medical Information. It’s during this year that your foundational knowledge is assembled. Medical Information at Sunovion is far reaching and encompasses many different responsibilities, from answering healthcare provider inquires, to serving as the medical reviewer for promotional materials, and working cross functionally with our colleagues in Regulatory Affairs and Legal. One of the greatest benefits of working at a smaller pharmaceutical company are the opportunities to lead and collaborate on high impact projects. Within the first few months of the program I presented to global directors, staffed the medical information booth at a major medical congress, created and updated standard medical response documents, and became the coordinator for the respiratory medical science review committee.
The second year of the fellowship is spent within Medical Affairs, where I will continue to develop and contribute to a bevy of medical affairs projects including assisting with poster and publication development, analyzing clinical data, and participate in strategic planning for both mature and launch products. An additional benefit of being at a smaller company is the flexibility allowed to tailor year two towards my interests and rotate through various departments such as Scientific Communications, Field Medical, and others. The rotational aspect is great since it allows for the fellow to really develop expertise within the functional areas of their interest, while also gaining a working knowledge of many different roles within Sunovion and the biopharmaceutical industry.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the program leadership has been a constant advocate for me, persistently seeks out unique, challenging, and exciting opportunities for me to develop and grow. From day one I was viewed as a vital team member; I have been fully embraced by both the Medical Information and Medical Affairs teams, have been given meaningful, high impact projects to contribute to and lead, and have been provided with wonderful mentors who truly care about my development and success.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions above are those solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. or Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd.
Matthew Maulis, PharmD, is a Medical Information & Medical Affairs Post-Doctoral Fellow with MCPHS University and Sunovion