Physician Fair Market Value: KOL Travel Compensation Across Different Tiers

By John Sweeney,
Statistical Analyst

In light of the Sunshine Act and the restrictions that are being placed on the pharmaceutical industry, there is much more scrutiny placed on these companies for overcompensating key opinion leaders for business and travel. Some life sciences companies are starting to adopt policies that highlight exactly how KOLs may be compensated and by how much and/or to what degree. Of these policies, most pharmaceutical companies provide a very vague overview explaining that travel provided to thought leaders must be reasonable and not excessive (i.e. below first class ticket). Continue reading


The New Age-Old Question: How to Prove Medical Science Liaison Value?

Natalie DeMasi, clinical development and medical affairs researcher
By Natalie DeMasi,
Senior Research Analyst

It’s a common question at conferences, business meetings and even on social media: What key performance indicators (KPIs) should medical science liaisons (MSLs) track to prove value?  When I ask medical affairs executives this question, I get a variety of answers, but they usually begin in the same way – with a sigh and “that’s a good question.”  Through all of this muddle, however, some MSL teams have devised satisfactory methods to prove their worth to upper management. Continue reading


Using KOL Segmentation to Diversify Thought Leader Pools

Victoria Cavicchi, pharmaceutical social media researcher
By Victoria Cavicchi,
Senior Research Analyst

When determining a thought leader’s fair market value, life sciences companies must first consider a physician’s scope of influence.  This determination is often influenced by a key opinion leader’s years of experience, their number of scientific publications or their career history.  These factors contribute to companies’ KOL segmentation practices, which are key to determining physician FMV.  Continue reading


EFPIA Member Companies and Associations Prepare for Transfer of Value Disclosures in 2016

Sarah Ray, regulatory affairs and safety researcher
By Sarah Ray,
Senior Research Analyst

With 2016 off to a start, it’s time to take a look at the increasing number of countries requiring life science teams to publicly disclose any payments provided to either physicians or healthcare organizations.  The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) mandated countries with member associations to adopt its code on disclosing payments made to healthcare professionals and organizations no later than December 31, 2013.  However, the EFPIA value disclosures did not require member companies to begin collecting payment information until 2015.  Life science companies that are EFPIA members began documenting transfers of value as of the first of the year and are set to disclose these payments no later than June 30, 2016.  Continue reading


Determine HCP Fair Market Value with FMVConnect

Natalie DeMasi, clinical development and medical affairs researcher
By Natalie DeMasi,
Senior Research Analyst

Determining physician fair market value (FMV) payments for speeches, advisory boards or consulting can be at best a minor effort and at worst a major compliance headache.  FMV rates will vary by the speaker’s country, tier, type of activity and therapeutic area, meaning that teams may have to evaluate different rates for each individual speaker working at a given event.  Life sciences companies can turn to Cutting Edge Information to make FMV evaluations as painless as possible. Continue reading


Establishing KOL Travel Compensation at Fair Market Value

Victoria Cavicchi, pharmaceutical social media researcher
By Victoria Cavicchi,
Senior Research Analyst

In the course of working with pharmaceutical companies, many key opinion leaders must travel to contribute to advisory boards or speaking events.  As such, firms must determine how to compensate physicians for the time and cost of this travel.  However, there is no industry standard for KOL travel compensation.

Through its fair market value research, Cutting Edge Information talked to several life sciences executives regarding key opinion leader travel compensation.  When working with KOLs, companies’ travel considerations fall into two different categories: Some companies compensate for activities or meeting expenses only while others provide for these expenses as well as travel honoraria. Continue reading


Effective Utilization of Key Opinion Leader Tiers

Jacob Presson, pharmaceutical market access researcher
By Jacob Presson,
Senior Research Analyst

Many pharmaceutical and life science companies have a three tier system in place for determining key opinion leaders’ fair market value.  Companies also typically have an “exceptional” tier for those that go beyond a tier 1 level of influence.  Among those participating in our research, almost 20% do not have rates or procedures in place for the exceptional tier, sticking with the 3 tiers, typically in order from tier 3 at the local level to tier 1 at the global level of influence.  Continue reading


Investigator-Initiated Trial Budget Changes for the Coming New Year

Natalie DeMasi, clinical development and medical affairs researcher
By Natalie DeMasi,
Senior Research Analyst

Investigator-initiated trials (IITs) are one of the pillars of company-thought leader interactions and trust-building.  Alongside company-sponsored Phase 4 studies and collaborative research, IITs are an integral part of a product’s continuing research.  Plus, they foster corporate goodwill and relationships with key opinion leaders (KOLs).  As such, companies should not be stingy in resourcing investigator-initiated trial teams. Continue reading


Medical Affairs Firewalls: How Far Is Too Far?

Natalie DeMasi, clinical development and medical affairs researcher
By Natalie DeMasi,
Senior Research Analyst

Compliance can be medical affairs’ worst enemy.  In fact, our new medical affairs report found that compliance and perceived overregulation were the most commonly-reported concerning trends among surveyed industry experts.  Compliance concerns include managing off-label discussions and fair market value payments to physicians.  However, internal firewalls between medical affairs teams and commercial teams can also be a point of contention at many companies. Continue reading


Criteria for Establishing Fair Market Value Rates

Jacob Presson, pharmaceutical market access researcher
By Jacob Presson,
Senior Research Analyst

As companies begin to build documentation for fair market value rates, there are four main variables that they must take into account when establishing what rate is appropriate for a specific activity.  The primary criteria are the country, the activity, the tiering of the thought leader, and the specialist involved.  Successful application of FMV rates requires accounting for all four variables. Continue reading