Cogora was approached by a pharmaceutical company that needed to identify key opinion leaders (KOLs) in a therapy area they had planned a series of market access activities in. Our client needed to identify both the leading KOLs in the overall therapy area and the KOLs with a specific interest in the type of molecules our client specialised in.

Our approach

After consulting our client on their specific requirements, we drew up a bespoke KOL mapping plan. Using a combination of literature database searches, mapping of key professional societies and consulting therapy area experts that the Cogora group had previously worked with, we constructed a longlist of KOLs of potential interest to our client.

We identified the reach and depth of each KOL’s impact using objective measures such as the number of times their work had been cited in peer-reviewed publications. Potential KOLs were then ranked using an algorithm that reflected our client’s specific requirements by attaching pre-determined weights to measures such as positions of responsibility in professional societies and number of peer-reviewed publications. This allowed us to produce a bespoke list of KOLs that included the top people in the therapy area and was also tailored to meet the specific needs of our client.


The final KOL map was delivered as part of an interactive data tool that showed how the KOLs ranked relative to each other and allowed our client to adjust the weighting attached to different measures to explore how this changed the ranking. As part of the tool, we also provided full biographies of all KOLs and an authorship map showing how the KOLs interacted with other professionals in the same therapy area.