The PharmaCertify™ Team

Just wondering, is anyone dizzy out there? Who needs a trip to the amusement park when you can ride the stock market rollercoaster? It has been one wild ride this week. Not as wild, but certainly just as fun, is this week’s PharmaCertify News Week in Review. For your safety secure any loose items, and keep your hands, arms, feet and legs inside that car at all times. With that said, we’re off!

It appears the ride with OIG has come to a complete stop for Forest Labs’ CEO Howard Solomon. The agency notified the company that they were no longer going to pursue efforts to exclude the CEO from participating in federal healthcare programs. In a statement, the government stated it had decided to stop the proceedings based on file documents and information provided by company attorneys.

J&J has reached an agreement to settle a misdemeanor criminal charge related to Risperdal marketing. However, the ride has not completely stopped for them as the company is still negotiating civil charges with the government. Forty states are also lined up to pursue charges against the company.

Merck may be getting on the Merry-go-Round with the government. The company received subpoenas related to the marketing of three of its drugs from 2004 to the present. In a SEC filing, Merck revealed that the subpoenas were received as part of a health care investigation under criminal statues. During the time frame in question, the drugs were primarily marketed by Schering Plough.

For your viewing pleasure, a video interview of former DOJ fraud and abuse director, Larry Freedman. Mr. Freedman discusses current and future trends in healthcare law enforcement, including individual prosecution and exclusion. He also questions if the government is overreaching in it tactics, and what companies should be doing today to protect themselves.

The Sunshine Act is no kiddie ride, and the pharmaceutical industry won’t be alone in feeling its impact. From possible public backlash from the exposition of a financial relationship with the industry to potential tax issues, the Sunshine Act will impact physicians as well, as issues like financial relationships with the industry and potential tax issues are revealed.

Are Pharma company Facebook pages down for good or will they simply undergo a refurbishment? Some companies have announced they will take down their Facebook pages. Among them are Janssen, with its ADHD Moms page, and sanofi with its VOICES page. Sanofi is directing users of the VOICES website to its company site, where comments can be sent in for  review before they are posted on a publically accessible wall.

The recently published ABPI guidelines on social and digital media aren’t quite the thrill ride communication and marketing professionals were hoping to see. The guidance has done little to clarify the acceptable digital communication practices for the industry. In turn, companies are simply not willing to move forward with, or commit to developing, digital communication plans.

The US Chamber of Commerce is proving it’s no Mickey Mouse operation, as the organization takes on the FCPA full force. The Chamber has a list of five issues they would like to see changed in the law. Critics of the lobbying effort complain that the call for changes come at time when the rest of the world is taking steps to deal with bribery and corruption.

That brings us to the end of the line. We hope you enjoyed the ride as much as we did.  Please gather your belongings, take small children by the hand, and watch your step as you exit the PharmaCertify News Week in Review and head in to a glorious weekend. Have a good one everybody!