Pharmaceutical Key Opinion Leader Management (PH183)

Effective Strategies for Segmenting Thought Leaders
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Published 2013
179 Pages
500+ Metrics
95+ Charts and Diagrams

Build Strong Registers of Pharmaceutical Key Opinion Leaders to Support Critical Activities Companywide


Our latest report examining thought leader management resources and key opinion leader (KOL) segmentation criteria includes global, US and European strategies and benchmarks. Metrics showcase key criteria for identifying, categorizing and segmenting opinion leaders across the following 26 therapeutic areas:

  • Allergy
  • Animal Health
  • Anesthesiology
  • Cardiology
  • Dentistry
  • Dermatology
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Hematology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Inflammation
  • Internal Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Oncology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedics
  • Pain Management
  • Pulmonary Diseases
  • Radiology
  • Rheumatology
  • Surgery
  • Urology

Beyond those metrics, the report also includes data on KOL development team structures, budgets and staffing levels, as well as thought leader management database usage and expenses.

The study also addresses key challenges to thought leader development teams. Key opinion leaders (KOLs) provide critical support to life science companies — but KOL relationships also face elevated scrutiny as regulations call for increased transparency around physician payments. This evolving landscape creates new approaches for thought leader management groups as they work to identify, develop and nurture connections with influential medical leaders.


Key Questions that This Study Answers

  1. What criteria do thought leader management groups use to segment KOLs?
  2. How high are thought leader management teams’ budgets at different companies within the life sciences industry?
  3. How many FTEs are needed to facilitate efficient thought leader management operations?
  4. How do groups determine thought leader compensation limits?
  5. What types of thought leader management databases do teams use and who has ultimate responsibility for those databases?


Top Reasons to Review This Report

Benchmark extensive thought leader segmentation data: Compare Tier 1, 2 and 3 thought leader profiles across a wide range of data splits, including five company types and 26 individual therapeutic areas. Examine the most common segmentation criteria among top-performing pharmaceutical companies, including number of publications, years of clinical experience, speaking ability and much more. Weigh the importance of specific criteria in influencing KOL segmentation and fair-market value decisions.

Identify and recruit global, national and regional thought leaders: Leverage internal and external expertise to pinpoint up-and-coming thought leaders at all levels of geographic influence. Track the number of KOL relationships companies maintain at the global level, as well as within the US and Europe to benchmark your team’s needs. Prepare companywide KOL pools that thrive even after the Sunshine Act’s full implementation.

Create centralized KOL development teams: Explore profiles other top-performing thought leader development teams to structure and right-size your group. Empower teams to maintain thought leader relationships and companywide KOL databases and manage them by assigning centralized ownership. Benchmark thought leader team spending and staffing patterns across global groups, along with US and individual European markets.

Key Opinion Leader Metrics

Chapter 1: Thought Leader Management Structures, Staffing and Budgets

Chapter Benefits

  • Create centralized thought leader management groups to identify, build and maintain KOL relationships.
  • Benchmark thought leader team spending and staffing patterns across global, US and individual EU markets.
  • Adjust group funding as supported products approach launch.
  • Understand how KOLs groups are adapting to the Sunshine Act, and compare annual KOL payment limits across surveyed companies.
  • Create thought leader databases to streamline KOL management and prepare for the Sunshine Act’s tracking requirements.

Chapter Data

27 charts showing thought leader management group structures and staffing as well as KOL management funding and budget allocation.

  • Types of thought leader management present at surveyed companies (dedicated versus non-dedicated structures, country-level versus global, or medical affairs versus marketing leadership)
  • Four (4) real-world thought leader development team structures
  • Dedicated thought leader management team staffing, by company (global, US, EU and Canada)
  • Number of medical affairs FTEs directing thought leader management in non-dedicated structures (global, US and EU)
  • Dedicated thought leader management team budgets, by company (global, US and EU-level)
  • Thought leader management spending for non-dedicated groups (global, US and EU)
  • Average allocation of thought leader funds (global, US and EU)
  • Annual compensation limits for thought leaders, by company


Chapter 2: Initiating and Managing Thought Leader Relationships

Chapter Benefits

  • Track the number of KOL relationships companies maintain at the global, US and EU-level
  • Balance internal and external resources when recruiting KOLs.
  • Leverage vendors’ expertise — particularly when working with limited resources, in specialized or niche areas or when supporting products in new therapeutic areas.
  • Target healthcare professionals beyond specialists — including primary care providers, subspecialists and allied healthcare professionals.
  • Develop customized CRM databases to organize, track and promote KOL engagement activities.

Chapter Data

43 charts detailing the numbers of thought leader relationships maintained, which healthcare providers are targeted as thought leaders and usage of thought leader management databases.

  • Percentage of companies targeting multiple healthcare provider categories as thought leaders in 2009 and 2013
  • Categories of healthcare providers targeted as thought leaders in 2009 and 2013
  • Percentage of companies targeting specific allied health professional categories as thought leaders in 2009 and 2013
  • Number of thought leader relationships maintained by company across multiple markets:
  • Weigh the benefits and risks of four (4) exclusivity extension tactics:
    • Global
    • US
    • EU markets (combined)
    • UK
    • France
    • Germany
    • Spain
    • Italy
  • Percentage of thought leader relationships by tier (1, 2 and 3) across multiple markets:
    • Global
    • US
    • EU markets (combined)
    • UK
    • France
    • Germany
    • Spain
    • Italy
  • Percentage of companies using databases to manage thought leader relationships
  • Types and age of CRM/databases used for thought leader management
  • Timeframe for upgrading thought leader management tools
  • Average initial investment to develop CRM/databases (proprietary, off-the-shelf and basic spreadsheet)
  • Annual budget for maintaining and upgrading thought leader CRM/databases (proprietary, off-the-shelf and basic spreadsheet)
  • Functions managing thought leader management CRM/databases
  • Level of access granted to thought leader CRM system for specific staffing levels:
    • Field-level MSLs
    • Medical affairs directors
    • Head of medical information
    • Other medical information staff
    • Head of medical publications
    • Other medical publications staff
    • Clinical operations staff
    • Sales force
    • Head of thought leader management
    • Head of medical science liaisons (MSLs)
    • Other thought leader management


Chapter 3: Criteria Determining Thought Leader Tiers

Chapter Benefits

  • Explore the qualifications, characteristics and attributes that impact companies’ thought leader segmentation criteria.
  • Compare average profiles of Tier 1, 2 and 3 thought leaders across the pharma industry.
  • Weigh the importance of specific criterion in influencing KOL segmentation and fair-market value decisions.

Chapter Data

28 charts detailing surveyed companies’ Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 thought leaders as well as the factors that influence thought leader segmentation decisions.

  • Number of tiers used to segment thought leaders, by company
  • Thought leader profile elements for Tier 1, 2 and 3 KOLs:
    • Level of geographic influence
    • Thought leader category
    • Educational level
    • Average thought leader activity engagement
    • Average annual compensation for advising services
    • Average annual grant funding
    • Status as clinical research leader
    • Status as early adopter of new drugs
  • Importance ratings of factors influencing thought leaders’ fair-market value
  • Percentage of companies choosing specific factors (such as specialty or years of experience) as most influential to thought leaders’ fair-market value


Chapter 4: Thought Leader Segmentation Data

Chapter Benefits

  • Review extensive KOL segmentation data through a number of different cuts, including:
    • 26 individual therapeutic areas
    • 5 company types
    • 3 thought leader tiers
  • Use segmentation data to optimize use of thought leaders’ abilities
  • Benchmark segmentation criteria including:
    • Level of geographic influence
    • Thought leader category
    • Educational level
    • Average thought leader activity engagement
    • Average annual compensation for advising services
    • Average annual grant funding
    • Status as clinical research leader
    • Status as early adopter of new drugs

Chapter Data

37 tables detailing thought leader tier information. Data are broken out by:

  • Specific therapeutic area:
    • Allergy
    • Animal health
    • Anesthesiology
    • Cardiology
    • Dentistry
    • Dermatology
    • Emergency medicine
    • Endocrinology
    • Gastroenterology
    • Hematology
    • Immunology
    • Infectious diseases
    • Inflammation
    • Internal medicine
    • Nephrology
    • Neurology
    • Obstetrics and gynecology
    • Oncology
    • Ophthalmology
    • Orthopedics
    • Pain management
    • Pulmonary diseases
    • Radiology
    • Rheumatology
    • Surgery
    • Urology
  • Company types:
    • Large companies
    • Mid-sized companies
    • Small companies
    • Medical device companies
    • Third-party companies
  • Thought leader tiers:
    • Tier 1 KOLs
    • Tier 2 KOLs
    • Tier 3 KOLs
    • Thought leaders

Key Opinion Leader Report Excerpt

 

The following excerpt is a key finding from the full report’s Executive Summary.

Create Effective Centralized KOL Development Teams to Identify, Recruit and Cultivate Relationships with Thought Leaders

Many surveyed companies report that centralized KOL development teams serve as a key part of their overall thought leader management strategies. For most organizations, these centralized KOL management teams do not play a large role in the activities being conducted by KOLs. Rather, they primarily facilitate communication between commercial and medical teams in terms of how KOLs should be and are utilized and what KOL activities are most beneficial to the company. These thought leader management teams also play a role in maintaining the spending caps on individual KOLs.

Alongside their facilitation role, centralized KOL teams generally maintain KOL databases — providing information on thought leaders’ abilities and willingness to work in certain spaces. Among the most effective teams, experience also allows them to provide insights on individual thought leaders — often the kinds of information not be stored within a CRM. For example, one interviewed centralized team VP recalls a time that one of her internal clients felt one particular KOL would be a fit for a potential speaker event. However, the centralized team warned against the choice, recalling that the thought leader had a negative experience with the event’s focal product. This kind of insight is difficult to produce without a centralized team taking full-time responsibility for thought leader management.

Centralized teams also effectively prioritize internal functions’ KOL requests, benefiting the company as a whole. Managing commercial and medical teams’ requests together at one table and determining which activities for individual KOLs provide the greatest companywide benefit by avoiding overusing specific thought leaders. Without this coordination, two sides of the company could be making requests of thought leaders simultaneously, leaving KOLs with a poor view of the overall organization.

Though centralized teams prove effective for many companies, this expansive centralized setup is not appropriate for all organizations.  In smaller companies, a large centralized body risks losing the personal touch. In these companies, personal relationships between executives leading thought leader programs, MSLs, their managers and physicians can be leveraged much more effectively. Companies with limited resources — and that do not have thought leaders working for them in all corners of the world — can often manage their thought leader programs quite effectively without centralized management.