November 7, 2019

Facilitating international thought leader (TL) events and engagements poses unique challenges for pharma companies. More specifically, having a high-level TL cross an international border for a compensated engagement is becoming more complex as a greater number of transfer-of-value regulations are being imposed on doctors and pharma companies.  A primary challenge associated with cross-border engagements is a TL’s country of origin.

Most of the regulations mentioned above originate from single countries or, in some cases, federal states within countries. Unsurprisingly, TLs and pharma companies must comply with these rules if they apply to their home country or state. However, once TLs are contracted for a cross-border engagement, both parties must make a decision on which regulations to follow. Cross-border engagements can raise complex questions:

  • Should compensation be governed by the regulations of a contracted TL’s home country?
  • Should the rules of the country hosting the event take precedent?
  • Should it be a combination of the two?

Careful coordination between TL management, compliance and event planning teams is key in handling these grey areas. Lastly, having up-to-date knowledge on international laws governing TL compensation goes a long way in remaining compliant during cross-border engagements.

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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.