SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

February 08, 2010 09:12 ET

Transparency Could Hamper Thought Leader Relationships, Says Cutting Edge Information

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwire - February 8, 2010) - As drug companies face requirements to report all spending on physician-related activity, relationships between thought leaders and drug manufacturers are feeling the strain, says research firm Cutting Edge Information (

Aside from individual state laws requiring companies to report payments to physicians, companies are proactively revealing ties to thought-leading physicians. In December 2009 GlaxoSmithKline published a 121-page spreadsheet of payments to more than 3,700 US-based doctors, while Eli Lilly launched its Faculty Registry this past summer.

In September 2008 Eli Lilly and Merck made near-simultaneous announcements that they would reveal physician payments. According to Cutting Edge Information, these announcements, along with new state reporting laws, have ushered in a new era of transparency. Industry giants Pfizer, Medtronic, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca have all begun to support similar stances on transparency.

The move sparked a wave of concern among thought leader management executives, who worried about ramifications for existing physician relationships.

"Many highly influential thought leaders are steadfastly opposed to having their financials made publicly available, even if their names are not publicized," said Jason Richardson, president of Cutting Edge Information. "For this reason, they have already begun to politely decline invitations to work with pharmaceutical companies on advisory boards, speeches and other activities."

Although no company reported a decline in the number of thought leader relationships since Eli Lilly's and Merck's announcements, many executives predict that increased transparency will trigger a downward trend in new relationships. Based on its own research, Cutting Edge Information has determined that transparency will cause some thought leaders to avoid working with life sciences companies, thereby contributing to a smaller opinion leader pool.

For a complete list of thought leader/medical affairs resources from Cutting Edge Information, please visit

Receive a free, monthly newsletter subscription to "CEInsider: Medical Affairs Edition." Sign up here:

Contact Information