A survey on the structure, organization, and functions of medical information departments in the pharmaceutical industry in Spain
Abstract: The medical information (MI) function within the pharmaceutical industry plays a significant role in the provision of scientific answers for patients and healthcare professionals. The purpose of this study is to identify the current structure, organization, and functions of MI departments in Spain. Sixty local and international pharmaceutical companies based in Spain were invited to participate in this study between May and July 2019. An online 34–item questionnaire developed by the AMIFE MI Working Group was distributed to the companies. Data were analyzed through descriptive statistics using response frequencies. A total of 44 responses from 60 surveys (73%) were received. More than half of the respondents were employed in international companies based in Europe (57%, n = 25). Seventy-one percent (n = 31) of the companies had 100 to 1,000 employees in Spain. Most respondents declared that they had an MI department in their company (73%, n = 32), with most (53%) having two to five employees working on MI. Most MI (n = 50) specialists had a biomedical academic degree (predominantly pharmacy, biology, and medicine). MI departments were involved in many functions, the most common being answering enquiries (100%), handling drug information requests (97%), preparing written responses (94%), and literature services for external use (77%). The mean annual volume of MI enquiries was 2,301 (median 1,100). The results of this survey contribute to a better understanding of MI departments in Spanish pharmaceutical companies, as well as their functions and responsibilities, and could help identify opportunities and areas for improvement.