SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

August 20, 2015 10:00 ET

Hourly Fair Market Value Rates for KOL Activities Range From $210 to $273, According to Cutting Edge Information

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - August 20, 2015) - When developing a fair market value (FMV) rate card, there is little consensus on how to account for specific activities or services rendered, according to a recent benchmarking study by FMV benchmarking firm Cutting Edge Information. The study also predicts that companies will not adopt one methodology quickly.

FMV rates for specialists working with life sciences companies consist of a combination of considerations, including a company's internal tier designation, a physician's specialty area, the geographic region and the company type. However, according to a recent study by Cutting Edge Information, some companies also factor the individual contracted activity into the FMV equation.

Activity category has seen the least consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry. For example, key opinion leaders (KOLs) who lead advisory boards typically command the highest hourly rates ($273) and those who participate in these ad boards the lowest ($210). Other activity areas depend greatly on individual companies, but may include clinical consulting ($225 per hour) and promotional speeches ($253 per hour).

Although some organizations carefully consider the contracted activity in some way, other pharmaceutical and device manufacturers see fair market value as solely dependent on a KOL's expertise and influence. As such, the type of KOL activity has no bearing on the fair market value at these companies. But there is still a sizable portion of the life sciences industry that does reflect the activity in its FMV rates.

An interviewed executive at one small pharmaceutical company explained that the organization always pays less for commercial-based activities than for clinical activities. The company's policymakers believe that by doing so, their FMV payment process will face less scrutiny from regulators because they prioritize research over promotion. Another executive at a different company pointed out that its research department internally owns fewer resources than the commercial team. As such, clinical activities see lower hourly rates than promotional activities.

"Global Key Opinion Leader Compensation 2015: CEI's Annual Review of Fair Market Value," available at, provides an introduction to fair market value metrics and discusses the implications of recent physician payment disclosure requirements. The report's analysis also examines how companies may select the key opinion leaders with whom to work and provides sample rates of how teams may reimburse selected influencer types. Highlights from the report include:

  • Sample base hourly rates: by region, company type, KOL tier designation and physician specialty area
  • KOL selection criteria, including a discussion of standardized rate cards
  • A review of the Sunshine Act and similar physician payment disclosure requirements

Cutting Edge Information's FMVConnect Database

FMVConnect, a benchmarking and analysis solution by Cutting Edge Information, provides healthcare companies with the data necessary to build key opinion leader relationships and to establish top-notch physician and non-physician fair market value fee schedules.

Our team of research experts has worked with thought leaders and pharmaceutical executives to develop a time-tested methodology for identifying and segmenting healthcare professionals and for determining fair market value for specific thought leader activities. With Cutting Edge Information's FMV services, you can:

  • Implement a fee schedule based on detailed KOL compensation benchmarks
  • Establish sound consultant and advisor payment practices
  • Receive a customized data set based on your company's specific needs

FMV data for different though leader activities are presented in tables and grouped by specialty, geographic region and tier. Our comprehensive database includes information from 117 countries, 109 specialties and subspecialties and 63 non-specialties.

Go to for more information.

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