Travel Policy Compliance for Engaging with HCPs

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.


  • Description
  • Additional information

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.

Report Features

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.

Reason to Buy

Set standardized thought leader travel policies that correlate with internal compliance satisfaction. Do not place burden of booking travel arrangements on your external experts – there is now an expectation that travel will be booked for them. Learn how to compensate them for travel time in accordance with industry practice for all but the most promotional/commercial activities.

Target Audience

Biopharmaceutical and medical device executives from compliance, legal, medical affairs, marketing and other commercial teams will be most affected by changes in FMV approaches and regulations. This study is designed for key decision makers, such as vice presidents, directors and managers, from these functions.

Chapter Example

Key information found in this set of data:
• Using a percentage of the contracted activity rate, either on its own or as a part of a group of factors, to determine an appropriate pay rate for KOLs’ travel time is the industry standard (Figure 1.6).
• Thirty-two percent of companies account for distance traveled when determining travel time compensation, making it an acceptable industry practice (Figure 1.6).
• A much higher percentage of Top 50 companies (50% of surveyed Top 50 respondents) use time out of office to determine compensation for travel time.
• A higher percentage of Top 10 pharmaceutical companies use the activity rate as their primary reference point for determining compensation rates for travel time.
• Of the 60% of surveyed companies that use activity rate as some or all of their formula for compensating travel time.