The Current Challenge

Pharmaceutical companies play a critical role in the healthcare ecosystem. They provide financial support and supervision of complex clinical trials to ensure the safety and effectiveness of drugs, devices and diagnostics. According to the Current Medical Research and Opinion journal, 65% of scientific research is funded by the pharmaceutical industry.


Of scientific research is funded by the pharmacuetical indsutry.

Given the industry's financial incentives to shepherd pharmaceutical products through the entire process—from development to clinical trials to doctors’ prescription pads—it is the responsibility of medical and scientific professionals to deliver information on emerging medications to healthcare providers (HCPs) and patients in a competent, ethical fashion.

Unlike the finance, legal and medical industries—which require professional certification for their respective professionals—the pharma industry doesn’t yet demand such an accreditation. However, the recent opioid crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic have demonstrated a serious need to implement a standardized certification for all medical-affairs professionals.

Put simply, the pharmaceutical industry is in dire need of a transformation.

An industry-standard certification is the propellant that can launch pharma into the stratosphere of ethical practices, compliance excellence, and public trust.

The Solution

Certification and Credentialing of Medical Affairs and MSL Professionals

At ACMA, we actively encourage the pharmaceutical industry to require all their medical-affairs team members to be credentialed and certified through the Board Certified Medical Affairs Specialist Program (BCMAS).

Here’s why:

The Top Five Benefits of Medical Affairs Certification

1. It eliminates bias
Certification promotes impartiality in clinical trial design, oversight, conclusions, and reporting of results.
2. It ensures consistency
Certification provides a minimum level of competency that every medical affairs or MSL professional must meet to be employed in the industry.
3. It discourages bad behavior
Certification minimizes unethical and illegal business practices.
4. It keeps external stakeholders honest
Certification ensures compliant and ethical interactions with HCPs, patient advocacy groups, and industry regulators.
5. It encourages long-term compliance
Certification isn’t a band-aid solution; it’s the titanium thread that binds the pharma industry together and ensures a standard adherence to excellence.

The FDA Supports ACMA Professional Standards

We wouldn’t be the ACMA if we weren’t proponents and promoters of pharma-industry certification. That’s what we do. And we do it well.

We know the benefits, and we see the results daily with every medical affairs and MSL professional who earns the BCMAS certification.

But don’t take our word for it.

Listen to Janet Woodcock, MD, head of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation & Research, as she discusses the importance of professional standards for MSL and medical affairs professionals.