BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION IN THE LIFE SCIENCES SECTOR
R&C: In your experience, how susceptible is the life sciences sector to bribery and corruption? Through what channels – such as government contracts – are instances of bribery and corruption likely to emerge?
Jezierski: The life sciences sector and the pharmaceutical industry have been under the anti-corruption regulatory spotlight and subject to increased scrutiny of late. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have pursued pharmaceutical and life sciences companies for various US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, including handing out kickbacks to obtain contracts with foreign health departments, payments to physicians in government-owned hospitals, unjustified fees and excessive hospitalities to influence government-run health system physicians to prescribe their products, as well as a wide range of inducements to healthcare professionals in the form of cash and gifts such as jewellery, meals, travel, entertainment and sponsorship for attending conferences.
Klinger: In our industry we work with a number of stakeholders, including healthcare professionals and government officials, to ensure that we are developing the right treatments and delivering them effectively to as many people as possible. Interactions with these stakeholders can pose compliance risks if not managed appropriately. Our industry is also highly regulated and we operate in an increasingly challenging environment where societal expectations are changing. To accommodate these changes, the life science sector must be agile and forward looking, working proactively to identify and mitigate new risks as they emerge. We must also continue to drive a culture of integrity in all that we do to meet the legitimate expectations of all our stakeholders.
Jul-Sep 2017 Issue
Baker & McKenzie LLP
Novartis International AG
RSM US LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP