COVID-19 has upended the compliance operations and business approaches of life companies.
FREMONT, CA: Navigating the compliance landscape of life sciences can be challenging, particularly when rules are sometimes open for interpretation. However, following compliance rules and regulations is vital to the business's success, and firms should feel confident when forming and managing the company’s compliance program. While life sciences companies and their compliance programs range in size, resources, and maturity, many areas are worth examining to ensure that compliance programs are effectively identifying, understanding, and reducing pre-pandemic and new compliance risks in light of changed circumstances. Read on to know more.
As things seem to be altering nearly daily, compliance must be seated at the table when business plans are taking place and take a seat at the table. As life sciences, companies conduct business differently in response to the new COVID-19 reality, a compliance program that once effectively reduced pre-pandemic risks may now be less effective. Controls in place to reduce certain risks may now be overly restrictive, making it complex for employees to execute day-to-day tasks.
Other controls may be ineffective, offering companies a false sense of security that hurdles are being identified. It is vital that firms rapidly assess their new overall risk profile to realize the areas where the company has some exposure in its program. By conducting a COVID‑19-related risk evaluation, the company can help ensure that its compliance program keeps pace with all of the emerging ways of working and conducting business.
Leaders and managers must address these issues and develop effective strategies for periodically interacting with employees to reinforce the firm’s compliance culture and principles. Similarly, it is vital that the compliance team manages visibility and encourages employees to seek guidance or clarification before taking action. At the same time, there may be a tendency for compliance areas and professionals to be sensitive, and to calibrate their profiles, matters of life and death all around. Through periodic compliance messaging, virtual meetings, and other mechanisms, both management teams can ensure that employees understand that, while external circumstances have most changed, the company’s commitment to compliance has not.