Travel Policy Compliance for Engaging with HCPs


Travel policy compliance goes hand in hand with developing fair market value (FMV) rates for healthcare providers (HCPs). Life science companies seek out HCPs to perform a variety of activities on their behalf, ranging from ad boards to clinical work to promotional speeches. Many times, HCPs do not live or operate in close proximity to where these activities take place — and must travel to perform them.

To understand HCP travel policies, Cutting Edge Information’s research experts surveyed more than 70 life science companies to capture key aspects of key opinion leader (KOL) travel policies.

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Study Description

When life sciences companies call on thought leaders to perform activities such as ad boards
or speeches, they want to compensate key opinion leaders (KOLs) for their travel expenses and time.  Just as the compensation for the activities KOLs perform should adhere to fair market value (FMV) , so should the compensation and reimbursement for any travel involved to reach the locations of these services. Life sciences companies working with thought leaders need detailed policies regarding the rates paid for KOL travel time, their airfare class and their hotel accommodations.

The results of this research are presented in this deliverable. Our clients use these data and insights to inform their decision-making around implementing a thought leader travel policy. Some of the highlights included are:

  • Policies for compensating HCPs during travel time
  • Level of travel support for HCPs (e.g. booking assistance)
  • Practices surrounding preferential hotel arrangements
  • Differentiation between KOL tiers for air travel accommodations
  • Class of airline travel for domestic and international journeys by tier
  • Policies regarding which activities warrant travel time reimbursement
  • Guidelines on acclimation time after international travel

It is an acceptable industry practice to compensate KOLs for their travel time for all of
the major activities covered in this study (clinical consulting, commercial consulting,
scientific speeches, chairing advisory boards, and participating in advisory boards).  Cutting Edge Information collected data from more than 70 life sciences companies to develop this travel policy analysis.

You may also be interested in FMVConnect: The Premier Global HCP Fair Market Value Benchmarking Solution