Meet Michael Banks (MD and Co-founder of BESTMSLs), a rising star in the pharma industry, whose diverse educational and professional background has brought a fresh perspective to an industry that became increasingly vital during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michael’s journey began with a major in Bio-Anthropology/Zoology at the University of Michigan. After his graduation, he pursued medical school at the University of Connecticut, where he found his passion for medicine. Following his residency in internal medicine at the University of Chicago, Michael felt compelled to venture beyond traditional clinical medicine and embrace a more dynamic and multifaceted career.
Inspired by his entrepreneurial spirit, Michael combined his medical expertise with a passion for innovation and collaboration to create BESTMSLs, a contract medical science liaison organization. The company offers innovative solutions to pharmaceutical companies, helping them improve their communication with healthcare professionals. Additionally, Michael co-founded MDea, a creative medical education company producing educational videos and content to keep doctors up-to-date on the latest medical research.
Michael envisions a future for the pharma industry that is more collaborative, innovative, and patient-centered. He believes that by working together, pharmaceutical companies can develop better drugs and bring them to market more efficiently. Furthermore, he is committed to using technology to enhance patient interactions with healthcare providers.
BESTMSLs: A Premier Provider of Contract MSL Teams and Innovative Solutions
Established in 2005, BESTMSLs has become a leading provider of contract medical science liaison (MSL) teams and innovative solutions. The company’s diverse services empower medical affairs professionals and drive success in the field. These services include:
- Hiring, Training, and Deploying MSL Teams: BESTMSLs offers contract MSL teams consisting of MDs, PharmDs, and PhDs with expertise in various therapeutic areas, skilled in effectively communicating with healthcare professionals.
- CRM Tool for MSLs: BESTMSLs provides a specialized CRM tool to help MSLs manage their communication and data effectively. This tool allows MSLs to track interactions with healthcare professionals and gain insights to enhance their performance.
- Medical Affairs Island: BESTMSLs host virtual events that allow MSLs to connect with healthcare professionals and share their expertise on their platform, Medical Affairs Island, providing an immersive virtual environment.
- Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): BESTMSLs uses AR and VR to enhance poster presentations and publications, creating more immersive and engaging educational materials.
- Field Knowledge Transfer Studies: BESTMSLs conducts field knowledge transfer studies to assess the effectiveness of MSL training programs, ensuring MSLs possess the necessary knowledge and skills for success.
- Advanced Training for Launch and Post-approval Stages: BESTMSLs offers advanced training programs for MSLs working on the launch and post-approval products, keeping them up to date on the latest clinical data and regulatory requirements.
A Journey of Overcoming Challenges and Fostering Innovation
Throughout his journey, Michael Banks has faced and overcome numerous challenges on his path to success. His transition from clinical medicine to the pharmaceutical industry brought feelings of imposter syndrome, but his determination and resilience prevailed. As the Managing Director of BESTMSLs, he takes on essential roles in business development, account management, people development, and driving innovation. Michael fosters a culture of continuous improvement and innovation by closely monitoring market trends and integrating emerging consumer technologies.
Michael has been at the forefront of integrating advanced technologies into the industry by adopting a proactive approach. In the early 2000s, his company introduced the online journal club in partnership with Harvard, and in 2007, they launched The Doctor’s Channel, the first video site dedicated to medical professionals with short-form content. The company continues to push the boundaries of innovation, employing augmented reality and conducting meetings on a virtual campus in the metaverse.
Fostering Team Success through Motivation and Productivity
Understanding that his team is key to their success, Michael Banks has curated a diverse group, including scientists, creatives, and detail-oriented account team leaders. The strong bond within the team is evident from their long-term employment, with some members working together for almost a decade and the core team collaborating for over twenty years.
To ensure continuous motivation and productivity, Michael employs various strategies:
- Setting Clear Goals: Clear and achievable objectives give the team a sense of direction and purpose.
- Regular Communication: Open and transparent communication fosters a cohesive and informed team.
- Recognition and Reward: Acknowledging achievements motivates the team to excel.
- Opportunities for Growth and Development: Providing avenues for personal and professional growth ensures employee satisfaction and loyalty.
- Empowerment: Empowering team members to make decisions fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility.
- Balance and Well-being: Promoting work-life balance and well-being enhances productivity and job satisfaction.
- Foster a Positive Work Environment: A positive and inclusive work environment cultivates creativity and collaboration.
- Leading by Example: Leading with integrity and dedication sets the standard for the entire team.
Harmonizing Regulatory Framework, Compliance, and Innovation in Pharmaceuticals
Michael understands the critical role of regulatory frameworks in ensuring safety and efficacy. He navigates the complex balance between compliance and driving innovation through strategic approaches:
- Integrated Regulatory Strategy: Michael emphasizes integrating regulatory considerations from the project’s outset, aligning design and development with compliance standards without stifling innovation.
- Early and Regular Consultations: Open communication with regulatory bodies and clients provides valuable insights, guidance on regulatory pathways, and feedback on innovative ideas.
- Interdisciplinary Teams: Michael assembles diverse teams with various expertise to provide comprehensive perspectives on both innovation and compliance.
- Training and Education: Ensuring all involved in product development are well-versed in the regulatory landscape through regular training and updates.
- Compliance Culture: Fostering a company culture that values compliance as essential for success.
- Technological Solutions: Utilizing regulatory technology to automate and streamline compliance processes, freeing up resources for innovation while minimizing non-compliance risk.
- Post-Market Surveillance: Emphasizing robust post-market surveillance to ensure ongoing compliance and gather real-world data for further innovation.
Anticipating the Future Trends Shaping the Pharma Industry
Michael Banks envisions three key trends that will drive the pharmaceutical industry’s future, and he ensures that BESTMSLs is well-prepared to leverage them:
- Digital Transformation: Michael recognizes the significance of the digital revolution in driving the industry’s evolution. Telemedicine, AI, and data science play increasingly essential roles in drug discovery and patient care. Digital platforms for remote patient monitoring, adherence, and engagement are also expected to expand further.
- Personalized Medicine: With a growing understanding of genetic factors in disease, personalized medicine gains prominence. Tailoring treatments to individual patients’ genetic profiles enables more effective targeted therapies.
- Global Health Security: The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of preparedness for global health crises. Michael anticipates a heightened focus on vaccines, treatments for infectious diseases, and increased investment in health infrastructure and systems to detect and respond to future outbreaks.
BESTMSLs, under Michael’s leadership, stands poised to seize the opportunities presented by these trends. The company’s expertise in advanced communication and education for healthcare practitioners enables them to effectively leverage these trends.
Pursuit of Work-Life Balance and Personal Fulfillment
Michael’s remarkable success as a businessman is balanced by his commitment to his personal life, where he finds fulfillment and happiness. His role as a family man is of paramount importance, and he cherishes every moment spent with his two beloved daughters and the seamless blending of his partner Mari’s son into their family.
Beyond his family, Michael nurtures a range of hobbies and interests that keep him energized and inspired. An avid golfer and sports enthusiast, he enjoys the thrill of competition and the camaraderie it fosters. His love for travel allows him to explore new cultures and experiences, while his appreciation for great food indulges his palate and broadens his culinary horizons. Moreover, his passion for the great outdoors provides him with moments of tranquility and connection with nature.
Michael’s ability to strike a harmonious balance between his professional and personal lives is a testament to his dedication and unwavering commitment to both spheres. His journey exemplifies that it is possible to thrive in one’s career while nurturing meaningful relationships and pursuing personal interests. He serves as a role model for other business leaders, demonstrating that success is not confined solely to the boardroom but can be achieved through a holistic approach to life.
Also Read: The 10 Revolutionary Pharma Leaders, 2023