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TMCNet:  Despite an Industry-Wide Decline, Some Pharmaceutical Companies Are Increasing Speaker Program Budgets

[December 06, 2013]

Despite an Industry-Wide Decline, Some Pharmaceutical Companies Are Increasing Speaker Program Budgets

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. --(Business Wire)--

A recent Cutting Edge Information study found that in some cases, pharmaceutical speaker program budgets are increasing as speaker program demand remains steady and the market improves.

According to the survey data found in, "Promotional Speaker Programs: Successfully Managing Speaker Bureaus and Recruiting Thought Leaders," the economic downturn of 2008 and a rash of patent expirations- combined with new regulations - have driven drug companies' speaker program budgets downward. Companies have since adapted by developing more cost-effective tactics, such as web-based meetings, and no longer need as much funding.

In response to the economic downturn, some pharmaceutical companies struggled to piece together the resources necessary to employ dedicated speaker program teams. A managing director interviewed, said that companies used to conduct training programs-which could cost up to $250,00 each-in conjunction with other miscellaneous speaker programs. The executive estimated that the limited manpower-resulting from previous layoffs-and a lack of products in the pipeline had forced some companies to cut their spending.


"A product's lifecycle stage also influences promotional speaker program budget allocation," said David Richardson (News - Alert), research manager at Cutting Edge Information. "In some cases, companies that report increased promotional spending may have recently launched a product or wish to target specific products already on the market. As the outlook for speaker programs continues to improve, companies may require specialized programs and healthcare professionals to better publicize their products."

The study also revealed that the percentage of promotional speaker program budgets dedicated to salaries and overhead costs varies among surveyed companies. On average, these costs represent 27% of a company's speaker program budget.

"Promotional Speaker Programs: Successfully Managing Speaker Bureaus and Recruiting Thought Leaders" (http://www.cuttingedgeinfo.com/research/marketing/pharma-speaker-programs/) features trend analysis and detailed data on the impact of regulatory changes to promotional speaker program teams. Research includes performance metrics for speaker event management, including typical attendance, average cost per attendee and best times to hold events.

Use this report to:

  • Allocate funding and cross-functional staff to best support promotional speaker program teams.
  • Provide top-quality promotional speaker programs and boost attendance rates.
  • Understand and adapt to the impact of the Sunshine Act on speaker programs.
  • Gather fair-market value benchmarks for speakers' compensation.

For more information about pharmaceutical speaker program benchmarks, contact Cassie Demeter at 919-403-6583.


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