RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - March 04, 2016) -  An independent survey of 170 life science companies' physician compensation rate cards found that 26 percent of participants pay top-tier -- or nationally recognized -- key opinion leaders (KOLs) the highest percentile range. By compensating physicians between $300 and $1,005 per hour in the United States, these drug and device companies open themselves up to the risk that regulatory agencies may audit them for non-compliance.

Cutting Edge Information, the business intelligence firm that administered the survey, measured the rates typically paid by life sciences companies to top-tier KOLs -- physicians and other healthcare providers who run research studies, publish clinical data, deliver speeches and participate in advisory boards, among other industry-sponsored activities. In addition to benchmarking fair market value (FMV) rates in the United States, the analysis found that in parts of Europe, the range of high percentile compensation falls between EUR250 and EUR1,000.

Cardiologists most frequently received compensation that fell between the 75th and 95th percentile of payments among life sciences companies that paid the highest rates to national key opinion leaders and healthcare providers. 

"Although the majority of life sciences companies find themselves paying national KOLs below the 75th percentile, the quarter of the industry that does potentially faces a significant compliance risk if their rates are deemed too high or above fair market value," said John Sweeney, data analyst at Cutting Edge Information.

Since 2006, Cutting Edge Information has studied the drug and device industries' healthcare provider payment rate cards to determine what constitutes FMV compensation. Since the passages of the Affordable Care Act, and its inclusion of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, pharmaceutical compliance and legal teams have increasingly refined their FMV calculations to ensure they remain compliant. 

Currently, nine of the Top 25 global pharmaceutical companies have had to enter into corporate integrity agreements with the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) as part of non-compliance settlements. Along with these corporate integrity agreements, these companies often pay substantial fines to settle with the government. Companies that are found to have consistently overpaid their key opinion leaders or other healthcare providers would be at risk for similar reprimands by the government, which is why determining accurate fair market value compensation rates.

Cutting Edge Information's FMVConnect Database

FMVConnect, a benchmarking and analysis solution by Cutting Edge Information, provides healthcare companies with the data necessary to build key opinion leader relationships and to establish top-notch physician and non-physician fair market value fee schedules. 

Cutting Edge Information's team of research experts has worked with thought leaders and pharmaceutical executives to develop a time-tested methodology for identifying and segmenting healthcare professionals and for determining fair market value for specific thought leader activities. With Cutting Edge Information's FMV services, you can:

  • Implement a fee schedule based on detailed KOL compensation benchmarks.
  • Establish sound consultant and advisor payment practices.
  • Receive a customized data set based on your company's specific needs.

FMV data for different thought leader activities are presented in tables and grouped by specialty, geographic region and tier. Our comprehensive database includes information from more than 110 countries, more than 100 specialties/subspecialties and more than 60 non-specialist roles. For more information on FMVConnect, download the brochure at or sign up for a free demonstration at

Contact Information:

Rachel Shockley
Marketing Team Lead