SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

February 25, 2009 08:16 ET

Transparency in Pharma's Relationships With Physicians Is Here to Stay, According to Industry Leader Cutting Edge Information

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwire - February 25, 2009) - The recent announcement of yet another major drug manufacturer's decision to publicize payments to physicians is the latest sign that transparency in the pharmaceutical industry is here to stay, according to pharmaceutical intelligence leader Cutting Edge Information (www.cuttingedgeinfo.com).

Eli Lilly and Merck announced last September that they both would begin to publicly report payments to physicians. In the months since those announcements, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer have announced similar plans. A new study by Cutting Edge Information sheds light on what the shift toward greater transparency means for pharmaceutical companies.

According to Cutting Edge Information's study, "Thought Leader Fair-Market Value: Compensation Benchmarks and Procedures" (http://www.ThoughtLeaderCompensation.com), pharmaceutical companies large and small are developing strategies that encourage increased transparency around their thought leader payments.

"Greater transparency will actually help pharmaceutical companies establish more efficient processes," said Elio Evangelista, research manager at Cutting Edge Information. "Right now, some executives spend 75% of their time navigating the various state reporting laws. A more open environment may eventually lead to more standardization in this area."

Some critics say that physician payment-tracking laws would hinder the pharmaceutical industry's ability to work with important thought leaders, but the study shows that surprisingly little has changed thus far. For pharmaceutical companies, the major challenge posed by increased transparency is that key opinion leaders and other influential physicians are, to a large degree, adamantly opposed to the disclosure of their payments. An industrywide concern is whether increased transparency will lead to fewer physician relationships, although no surveyed company indicated that this trend has already begun to happen.

"Thought Leader Fair-Market Value: Compensation Benchmarks and Procedures" provides thousands of fair-market value benchmarks detailing fees for a number of thought leader activities, including:

--  Promotional speeches
--  Educational speeches
--  Leading an advisory panel
--  Moderating an advisory panel
--  Participating in an advisory panel
--  Authoring a manuscript
--  Authoring an abstract
    

The study also features surveyed companies' strategies and processes for calculating fair-market value payments.

To download a complimentary brochure of the report, go to http://www.ThoughtLeaderCompensation.com.

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