European Key Opinion Leaders: What Companies Are Currently Paying

Cutting Edge Information’s new research on fair-market value benchmarks found that drug manufacturers spend between €153 and €283 for typical European key opinion leaders (KOL) engagement. Payments vary by company size; biotechnology companies pay European thought leaders between €50 and €250 per hour, at an average rate of €153. By contrast, large pharmaceutical companies’ payments range between €75 and €600 per hour, at an average rate of €283.

“Determining European KOL Compensation: Fair-Market Value Benchmarks,” details the current trends affecting physician compensation in Europe and provides guidelines for thought leader management teams to set thought leader compensation benchmarks that are competitive and justified.

KOL payments in Europe have been coming under increasingly intense scrutiny. As companies respond to greater regulation of KOL compensation in Europe, we’re seeing a gradual decline and leveling-off of hourly rates.

A similar trend occurred in the United States as KOL compensation faced greater regulatory scrutiny. Once drug manufacturers started to focus on what they spend for KOL activities, hourly rates declined and became more consistent across companies of differing sizes. Europe is following a similar pattern, Evangelista said.

Already, 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 costs will also be disclosed. Drug manufacturers expect more scrutiny of thought leader compensation from the EMA and country-level regulatory bodies.

“Determining European KOL Compensation: Fair-Market Value Benchmarks” includes benchmark metrics for thought leader compensation and key opinion leader payments. The report includes strategic recommendations designed to help medical affairs, clinical development, legal and compliance executives to:

• Build a comprehensive thought leader management database.
• Calculate fair-market value and develop physician fee schedules.
• Build relationships with clinical and commercial key opinion leaders.