SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

December 06, 2007 08:26 ET

Annual Compensation Limits for Physicians Becoming More Prominent in Pharma Industry

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwire - December 6, 2007) - In the wake of increasing pressure from state legislatures, more pharmaceutical companies are instituting compensation limits for the physicians who they work with, according to a new study from business intelligence firm Cutting Edge Information (

The study found that 43.2% of pharmaceutical companies have annual compensation limits in place for individual thought leaders. Furthermore, the average limit is approximately $57,000 and the median limit is $32,500. Although not every company indicated that it had a compensation limit in place for opinion leader relationships, the sense among pharmaceutical executives was that capping physicians' compensation will continue to be a growing trend.

"Many of the executives we interviewed expressed the need to collect aggregate spending data for their thought leader relationships," said Elio Evangelista, research team leader at Cutting Edge Information. "Many companies are imposing these compensation limits on themselves to assert more control over thought leader activities before it hurts them from a compliance standpoint."

"Thought Leader Compensation: Establishing Fair-Market Value Procedures," available at, is a study designed to help pharmaceutical manufacturers develop fee schedules for physicians' consulting and advisory activities while still remaining compliant. The study provides fair-market value benchmarks of hourly rates, as well as additional fees for services, such as:

--  Delivering a promotional or scientific speech
--  Leading, moderating or participating in an advisory panel
--  Writing a medical publication

A survey of 46 pharmaceutical firms found that the highest percentage of companies with compensation limits in place are Top 20 companies. In fact, 55.6% of large pharmaceutical companies have compensation limits in place, compared to 30% for participating mid-sized companies and 50% for small firms.

"Thought Leader Compensation: Establishing Fair-Market Value Procedures" is a study of nearly four dozen pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device companies and third-party providers' fee schedules for influential physicians in 20 therapeutic areas and in various practitioner categories.

Download a free summary of "Thought Leader Compensation: Establishing Fair-Market Value Procedures" or purchase the report at

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