Key Opinion Leader Compensation Growing More Complex in Europe

Regulatory Restrictions Drive Down Payments for Professional Activities

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwire - February 3, 2011) - The average hourly rate for European key opinion leaders is 37% lower than their U.S. counterparts, according to a new fair-market value benchmarking study.

There are now 135 different combinations of factors that companies must consider before determining fair-market compensation for a key opinion leader, according to "Determining European KOL Compensation: Fair-Market Value Benchmarks," a new report from Cutting Edge Information.

Lower Compensation and Spending Caps

The number of different factors that influence compensation in the U.S. and Europe makes a single, standard calculation model between the U.S. and Europe difficult. At many companies, compensation varies based on both the type of healthcare professional and the activity he or she is performing.

However, Cutting Edge Information's database of fair-market value payments shows that European KOLs consistently receive lower hourly rate payments for similar activities compared to U.S. KOLs with similar qualifications.

The compensation gap is due in large part to more stringent compensation limits in Europe. On average, the annual spending cap for European companies' KOLs is EUR 33,533. The average cap for compensation to U.S. KOLs is approximately EUR 45,000.

Elevated Scrutiny

"What we used to think of as a U.S. challenge has made its way across the pond to Europe," said Jason Richardson, president of Cutting Edge Information. "The scrutiny placed on relationships between drug companies and key opinion leaders in the U.S. led to a lot of compliance changes. We're seeing that same scrutiny in Europe now."

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry will require disclosure of physician payments for member companies by 2013. Fees requiring disclosure include those for consulting, writing, advisory board participation or speaking at public meetings. Travel and accommodation cost disclosure will also be required. Executives interviewed for the project said they expect more scrutiny of thought leader compensation from the EMA and country-level regulatory bodies.

Determining European KOL Compensation: Fair-Market Value Benchmarks
( is designed to help all drug and device companies set their FMV fee schedules for European KOLs.

For more information about the latest research on medical affairs management, contact Elio Evangelista at +1 919-403-6583. 

Contact Information:

Stephanie Swanson
+1 919-403-6583