October 17, 2019

Thought leader (TL) compensation can include additional costs not immediately considered when coordinating a speaker engagement, consulting service or other activity. One of these additional costs involves transporting a contracted HCP from their home to the event location. To account for the variables that come with planning business travel, many pharma companies have developed TL travel policies.

Company-wide TL travel policies help to ensure a consistent approach when handling events or other services. They typically outline the primary decision-maker when it comes to travel compensation. Decision-making responsibility primarily to legal, compliance and accounting departments. However, more than one department often has authority over travel.

A recent Cutting Edge Information poll shows that:

  • Fifty-eight percent of poll participants said that TL travel compensation decisions are handled cross-functionally. But a sizeable portion of respondents answered differently⁠—23% said that compliance was the sole decisionmaker in TL travel compensation.
  • Other options, such as no primary decision-maker and legal departments, were selected by fewer respondents⁠—15% and 4%,

It’s likely that these differences stem from company size and resources available. The majority of poll respondents that handle travel decisions cross-functionally or with no primary decision maker may not have large enough legal or compliance departments to handle all TL travel decisions. On the other hand, the 27% of poll participants giving responsibility to single departments⁠—legal and compliance⁠—likely have more bandwidth available.

Interesting in learning more? Click here to access Cutting Edge Information’s webinar on Travel Compensation.

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Todd Middleton is a senior research analyst at Cutting Edge Information. In this position, he provides qualitative FMV information for in-house and external use to ensure compliant HCP engagements. As an analyst, Mr. Middleton affirms that accurate data, in combination with topical research, can ensure successful life science company compliance. He is a graduate of the College of Charleston.