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Investigator Payments - Channels, Cycle Time and Benchmarks

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by Mathini Ilancheran
26 March 2015

Investigator payments contribute to approximately 48 to 50 percent of the total per trial costs. Travel, food, and lodging account for 77 percent of the total investigator budget. Planning and understanding the key parameters within the investigator payment / grant process is important before devising a suitable payment strategy. Considering the fair market value for investigator payments is crucial in order to avoid higher payment which may result in financial strain on the sponsor. Let us explore the types of channel payments, average cycle time, and benchmarks related to the investigator payment process. Channels �Within the pharma industry, investigator payments can be processed through direct and indirect channels. In the direct channel, the engagement is between the trial sponsor and the investigator (physician), whereas in the latter, CROs or other clinical trials payment specialists serve as a mediator between the sponsor and the investigator (Figure 1). In terms of negotiation, during direct engagement the actual payment schedule is subject to negotiation with the company. The principal investigator and departmental administrators would develop a suggested payment schedule that is based on the spending pattern anticipated for the study.1 In the case of indirect engagement, the role of a third party service provider is limited to the operations of a site. CROs, along with the sponsor, would undertake the recruitment of investigators. However, the sponsor is the primary contract partner and holder with the investigator for liability reasons.   Author: Mathini Ilancheran

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