Physicians consulting for large pharmaceutical firms are paid more in the U.S. compared with Europe, according to the report, “Determining European KOL Compensation: Fair-Market Value Benchmarks,” released by Cutting Edge Information. In comparison, physicians in Europe receive on average €178 (approximately $245 U.S.) per hour, while those in the U.S. receive on average $283 for their consulting efforts.
The report showed that physician compensations varied and that these disparities were based on the activity performed, type of healthcare professional and company size. However, it was reported that European doctors receive nearly 16 percent less than U.S. doctors for their consulting efforts.
“As companies begin to develop global fair-market value compensation processes, we’re seeing differences emerge in Europe,” Yanis Saradjian, director of consulting at Cutting Edge Information, said in a statement. “For example, spending limits on European key opinion leaders are more stringent than in the U.S.”
According to the report, larger companies tend to pay more than smaller companies, but in recent years larger companies' financial advantages have decreased. However, larger companies may still have the upper hand by being able to offer multi-year contracts and better access to developmental drugs.
Of the largest pharmaceutical companies surveyed, single hourly rates for European thought leaders' consulting time topped €600 per hour (approximately $828 U.S.). The average fair-market value rates across therapeutic area averaged at €186 per hour (U.S. $257) among larger companies, whereas smaller companies paid €191 (U.S. $263).
It was speculated that small companies may pay more because they oftentimes have little negotiating power and want to retain highly influential physicians who may be more apt to work with larger companies for more pay. Additionally, smaller companies may be able to offer physicians a more personal relationship, the report stated.
The report gathered data from 21 life sciences companies to compare benchmarking data across various company sizes and types. Cutting Edge Information is a research firm that serves the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries.