Week in Review, March 11, 2013

The PharmaCertify™ Team

Bifocals…brilliant idea. Lightning rod…terrific concept. Public Library…amazing! Daylight Savings Time…um, not so much. What was Ben Franklin thinking when he came up with that idea? Okay, with apologies to old Ben, we admit that maybe we’re just cranky from losing that hour of sleep. So if, like us, you’re trying to ease your way into Daylight Saving Time, we suggest you ramp up slowly with this week’s News Week in Review.

Time is springing forward and so are the costs associated with FCPA investigations.   An analysis by Compliance Week shows costs related to FCPA investigations for multi-national corporations have exceeded $100 million. According to Avon’s annual report, the company has spent almost $340 million since 2009. Wal-Mart spent $600,000 per day during fiscal 2013 to investigate potential bribery issues. News Corp. paid $179 million in investigatory costs and $191 million to settle civil cases related to its bribery scandal. According to Compliance Week, companies can reduce costs and risks by simply strengthening their current policies and procedures.

A survey of procurement managers and directors finds that half of British companies are making time to vet suppliers for compliance with the UK Bribery Act. Only six percent of those vetting suppliers said they would end the relationship if they discovered a company was violating the Bribery Act. Of the mid-market companies not vetting suppliers, 60% say they have no plans to start doing so in the future. According to Ernst and Young, the company conducting the survey, directors and managers are often not aware they can be held personally liable for compliance failures.

It’s settlement time for Par. The company agreed to plead guilty and pay $45 million to settle off-label marketing charges surrounding Megace ES, its weight loss drug for AIDS patients. Par was accused of marketing the drug for geriatric wasting not related to AIDS, and making unfounded superiority claims for the drug.

Time is up for the FDA chemist convicted of insider trading. The chemist has now been debarred, which means he cannot provide services to anyone with a pending or  approved New Drug Application.

Physician payments in Massachusetts seem to be falling back rather than springing forward. Payments to physicians fell by 3% in 2011. Some payments increased, such as those for CME (up 16%) and those for grants/educational gifts (up 2%). Charitable contributions were down 62%, marketing studies were down 42% and expenditures for food were down 6%.

A bill requiring insurance coverage for the off-label use of drugs has sprung from committee in the New Jersey Assembly. The bill would require health benefit plans to pay for the off-label use of drugs dispensed to patients with terminal or chronic illnesses. In order for the drug to qualify, the off-label use must be recognized as medically appropriate for that condition. The bill applies to companies participating in New Jersey’s Individual Health Coverage Program, the Small Employer Health Benefits Program, the state Health Benefits Program and School Employees’ Health Benefits Program.

Time is precious and mobile technology sure helps make the most of your sales representatives’ time in the field. PharmaCertify’s custom and off-the-shelf apps and iPad-compatible eLearning modules offer access to critical compliance content when and where your team needs it most – in the field and at their fingertips.

Have a good week everyone!

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