SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

April 26, 2016 10:12 ET

Sixty-Six Percent of Surveyed Life Science Companies Compensate Key Opinion Leaders for Travel Time On Commercial Activities

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - April 26, 2016) -  While it is standard industry practice to cover key opinion leaders' (KOLs') travel expenses, it's not as easy to decipher whether or not to compensate them for the time that they spend traveling. Sixty-six percent of surveyed companies reported that they compensate for at least one commercial activity's travel time as well as airfare, hotel accommodations and meals, according to primary intelligence provider Cutting Edge Information.

Life science companies are challenged with deciding the amount they want to pay KOLs for time spent traveling and how that amount will be determined. To calculate the rate of pay for travel time, surveyed companies use these factors: distance traveled, time out of the office, a percentage of the associated activity rate and legs of travel.

Surveyed companies compensate a significant percentage of their consulting KOLs for travel time across multiple activities performed. The six buckets of activities examined by Cutting Edge Information for its survey analysis, Travel Policy Compliance for Engaging with HCPs, are clinical consulting, commercial consulting, scientific and promotional speeches, chairing advisory boards and participating in advisory boards.

"The majority of companies do not pay travel time across all activities," said David Richardson, senior director of fair market value services at Cutting Edge Information. "But 100 percent do compensate for travel time on at least one consulting KOL activity."

Travel Policy Compliance for Engaging with HCPs, available at, captures key aspects of KOL travel policies about rates paid for travel time, hotel accommodations, airfare allowances and acclimation time. The results of this research are presented in this deliverable. Clients can use these data and insights to inform their decision-making around thought leader travel policy. Some of the highlights included are:

  • Policies for compensating healthcare providers (HCPs) during travel time.
  • Level of travel support for HCPs (e.g. booking assistance).
  • Practices surrounding preferential hotel arrangements.
  • Differentiation between KOL tiers for air travel accommodations.
  • Class of airline travel for domestic and international journeys by tier.
  • Policies regarding which activities warrant travel time reimbursement.
  • Guidelines on acclimation time after international travel.

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