RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - July 18, 2016) - A Cutting Edge Information benchmarking study found that across all surveyed drug companies, 81% pay their clinical investigators on a per-patient basis. Per-patient costs are the primary factor in determining drug companies' clinical trial budgets.

A pharmaceutical company's investigator compensation strategy is crucial to validate physician payments to regulators. According to the study, Clinical Investigator FMV and Compensation Benchmarks Structuring Contracts and Planning Investigator Meetings, the two dominant payment strategies that surveyed companies use to compensate investigators are pay-per-quarter and per-patient payments. By paying per patient, the schedule aligns investigator priorities with the company's patient recruitment and retention goals.

Another advantage of pay-per-patient is that sponsors determine the fair-market value (FMV) cost of services performed during a patient's visit from a wealth of information stored in databases. Larger pharmaceutical companies have clinical databases containing payment information stretching decades into the past. These extensive databases prove invaluable come budget time - offering historic payments across multiple countries, sites and individual investigators. Clinical investigator FMV can be justified with the databases. The information can also be used to find standard hourly rates, government and insurance reimbursement rates for procedures. These figures all impact the value of a patient visit.

"Companies create compensation caps to establish accepted rates in addition to paying investigators per patient visit," said Natalie DeMasi, research team leader at Cutting Edge Information. "If an investigator is seeking compensation beyond the determined norm, sponsors can more easily negotiate the price or seek justification for the higher rate."

The report, Clinical Investigator FMV and Compensation Benchmarks Structuring Contracts and Planning Investigator Meetings, available at, examines payment structures and processes surrounding clinical investigator compensation. It explores popular strategies and tactics used to pay investigators, as well as the different ways that companies contract with investigators. The report also examines common milestone payments, the number of payments made to clinical investigators and the ranges and averages of direct costs that clinical sites often pass through to sponsors.

The study provides a valuable resource for clinical development managers, directors and vice presidents to stay informed on the latest trends around determining clinical investigator FMV. This report will also help executives:

  • Build comprehensive clinical trial budgets
  • Determine FMV calculation processes to develop defensible compensation rates
  • Structure investigator contracts
  • Plan for likely pass-through/direct costs from clinical trial sites
  • Plan and prepare for upcoming investigator meetings

For more information on Cutting Edge Information's pharmaceutical clinical investigator research and FMV services, please visit

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Contact Information:

Elio Evangelista
Senior Director of Commercialization
Cutting Edge Information