Compliance Week in Review, March 15, 2015

A French court overturns the fee for service exclusion from Loi Bertrand, a dental company settles with the Vermont AG’s office over failure to report charges, an internal investigation at Teva reveals potential FCPA violations, and a representative from the SEC discusses the FCPA with a group of life sciences compliance professionals.

Well, we’ve survived another shift to Daylight Saving Time and we’ve had a few days to adjust and reset our internal clocks…yeah right. There isn’t enough caffeine in the world, is there? That spring forward thing certainly leaves us here at the Week in Review offices feeling anything but springy! As it is, we’re in Daylight Saving Time now, like it or not (unless of course you live in AZ, or a handful of U.S. Territories that have the good sense not to jump on this bandwagon), and while the clock may shift, the news waits for no one. So sit back, relax, but not too much, as we spring into this week’s News Week in Review.

The times they are a changing, and so is the French Sunshine Act. The top French administrative court reversed the decision by the Ministry of Social and Health Affairs to exclude the amount paid to healthcare professionals and organizations for fee for service contracts from manufacturer reports. Currently, manufacturers only need to report the existence of the contract. The court said that Ministry overstepped its bounds with the decision. The Ministry is evaluating the implications of court’s decision, and will issue new regulations at some point in the future.

Better make time to send in those disclosure reports to Vermont! A dental company settled a case with the Vermont Attorney General’s office for $45,000 over its alleged failure to submit disclosure reports. This is the second settlement in a month involving the disclosure law.

Through a securities filing, TEVA revealed it had uncovered information that some of its actions may have violated the FCPA. The company’s investigation began after it received subpoenas from the DOJ and SEC. The investigation centered on business practices is in Russia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

A representative from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shed some light on the subject of FCPA risks for life sciences companies at the recent Pharmaceutical Compliance Congress. Andrew Ceresney, Director of Enforcement athem nt the SEC, focused on three key areas of risks, pay-to-prescribe arrangements, (rewarding doctors for writing prescriptions), payment of bribes in exchange for being placed on a formulary, and the payments of bribes disguised as charitable donations.

Ceresney also pointed out the importance of establishing internal controls specific to the business, and updating the internal controls when the business changes or grows. He referred to dealings with the FDA as the “lifeblood” of the industry, and emphasized the importance of investors having accurate information when making critical decisions.

And that brings us to the end of this Daylight Saving Time edition of the Compliance Week in Review. Remember, if you’re compliance training curriculum is in need of a wakeup call, the PharmaCertify™ suite of solutions offers up-to-date compliance training and reference content where your team needs its most – in the field and at their fingertips.

Have a great week everyone, and don’t forget that extra cup of coffee.

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