Uniphar acquires medical affairs company BestMSLs in €30m deal

Price includes an upfront payment as well as charges based on performance targets

Uniphar CEO Ger Rabbette said the deal would increase Uniphar’s presence in the ‘strategically important US market’

Healthcare services group Uniphar has acquired a New York-headquartered company that provides outsourced medical affairs services in a deal worth $36 million (€30.2 million).

In general terms, medical affairs is the department within a pharmaceutical or medical device company that communicates accurate information to healthcare providers.

Uniphar announced the deal for the BestMSLs Group, comprising of BestMSLs, the Doctor’s Channel and MDea, on Monday. While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, it is understood to be valued at a total of $36 million.

Less than half of this has been paid up front, with the remainder payable on hitting targets for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda).


The acquisition is forecast to deliver a return on capital employed to the group in line with Uniphar’s target rate of 12-15 per cent within three years.

BestMSLs operates with a core team of 13 people plus an average of about 35 contract medical science liaisons at any one time. It provides services including the provision of contract MSL (medical science liaison) teams, MSL recruiting, training, education and a range of digital solutions for its pharma partners.

It also operates The Doctor’s Channel, a digital platform which delivers expert medical information condensed into short streaming videos.


"Medical affairs is a fast-growing market due to the increasing complexity, specialty and cost of emerging pharmaceutical products," said Uniphar chief executive Ger Rabbette.

“BestMSLs Group will work alongside, and benefit from, our recent US acquisitions of Diligent Health Solutions and RRD International.”

He said the company was “a strong strategic fit” for Uniphar given “the increasingly important role” medical science liaisons play across both late-stage clinical trials through to commercialisation.

He also said the deal would increase Uniphar’s presence in the “strategically important US market”.

“Our growing US-based team are excited about the value they can deliver together,” Mr Rabbette said.

BestMSLs managing director David Best said the company was coming under the broader Uniphar umbrella to enable it "to continue to deliver for our existing partners while also exploring new cutting-edge opportunities".

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter