RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwire - January 24, 2008) - It pays to be an expert in a medical field -- literally. Top-tier key opinion leaders earn between $25,000 and $50,000 annually for their consulting and advising services, according to a new study from Cutting Edge Information (

Key opinion leaders (KOLs) are well-respected physicians who have risen to the top of their medical specialty. Pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies use opinion leaders' services to develop new clinical research strategies, to deliver promotional or education speeches and to serve on advisory panels for their key product franchises. Cutting Edge Information's study found that, on average, these high-profile opinion leaders are recognized as experts in their field by their peers.

Top-tier opinion leaders receive the highest levels of annual funding, according to the study. Tier 2 physicians, who are not as influential on a global scale as Tier 1 doctors, receive between $10,000 and $25,000 annual for consulting and advising fees. But pharmaceutical companies are quick to point out that key opinion leaders' services are difficult to obtain because KOLs work with multiple companies in a given year.

"It's important to note that many companies have annual spending limits in place to curb excessive payments to one physician or another," said Elio Evangelista, Research Team Leader at Cutting Edge Information. "Most of the time, these limits are set around $10,000, which goes to show that key opinion leaders have many ongoing advisory relationships."

"Pharmaceutical Opinion Leader Management," available at, examines the structures, strategies and resource allocations for the departments responsible for handling thought leader relationships. The report also includes detailed data for opinion leader recruitment and segmentation, as well as highlights new trends and issues concerning compliance to government regulation.

"Thought Leader Compensation: Establishing Fair-Market Value Procedures" is a study of 46 pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies' thought leader management structures, resources, processes and activities. The report includes detailed segmentation and funding data collected from top companies, such as Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Schering-Plough and Novartis.

Download a free summary of "Pharmaceutical Opinion Leader Management: Cultivating Today's Influential Physicians for Tomorrow" or purchase the report at:

Contact Information: CONTACT: Elio Evangelista (919) 433-0214