2017 Global MSL Salary Survey

Thanks to all those who have participated in our 2017 Global MSL salary survey. The results are displayed below, and the PDF is at the end of this page.

    Limitations and Caveats:

  • We needed to better define MSL populations based on continents or regions (i.e. Americas > North or South Americas then define North America as U.S. and Canada) OR restrict a salary survey to U.S. and individual regions separately.

    Limitations and Caveats:

  • I’m not sure how useful it was to look at industry represented beyond a very big picture, i.e. some big biotech companies are larger than some specialty pharma companies: picking biotech versus pharma may not give useful details. However, using company size based on revenue requires responders to know their companies’ total revenue (easy to find, but that extra step may reduce responder rate).

    Limitations and Caveats:

  • Including therapeutic areas is a popular feature, but can be confusing to interpret because these therapeutic areas may be viewed as distinct or related/overlapping by different companies. For example, oncology and immunology may each be a distinct therapeutic area or grouped together for a program focused on immunotherapies for cancer. I’m also not sure if we should have included “surgery” as a therapeutic category.

    Limitations and Caveats:

  • Years of MSL experience data point tends to be misinterpreted as “this is the distribution of tenure across industry.” The usefulness of tenure in salary surveys is to put context to the salary distribution in the same survey, and not a reflection of current tenure distribution in general industry. This is true for ALL surveys relating to MSL tenure.

    Limitations and Caveats:

  • The bonus data point is most problematic: that some responders report receiving bonuses above $50,000 shows we needed to better define what “bonus” means — whether it is only dollar-based or can also include stock options awarded. I also cannot tell whether over $75,000 bonus awarded is a reflection of incentives that are based on commercial performance,
    i.e. sales goals (typically outside the U.S.)
  • Including MSL managers in the survey probably threw off both salary and bonus data points, even when the % of MSL managers reporting is less than 20% of total. Our eligibility criteria should have been limited to MSLs only.

View PDF for Global MSL Salary Survey 2017