After having spent more than 20 years as a compliance officer, I truly believe a strong integrity culture, and compliance program are competitive advantages for companies. It is not just about keeping the company out of legal and regulatory troubles. It is about providing confidence to stakeholders and partners.
Unfortunately, recent Corporate Integrity Agreements force companies to create large compliance departments. This imposes a significant burden on companies. These provisions often are considered “compliance best practices,” but this new “gold standard” of compliance is attainable by only the wealthy companies.
A culture of integrity and compliance must be sustainable. It is about doing the right thing for all stakeholders. It also is about achieving the company’s objectives. It is about creating something that will last, and not simply being another “flavor of the month” company initiative.
What this means for life sciences compliance professionals, is that we can no longer take the economic realities of our clients for granted. We cannot simply recommend the labor-intensive monitoring program, the complex analytics system, or the gold-plated enterprise risk management process; regardless of what the Government may be pushing.
I believe growth and innovation in the life sciences sector will continue to come from newer, smaller companies. These companies have limited staff and tighter budgets. They frequently use multiple partners to complete the complex effort of research and development. These companies deserve to have access to high-quality, cost-effective compliance support. That support often is unavailable to them. That is why I founded the Whitelaw Compliance Group to focus on one client at a time and help each to grow to their fullest potential. From humble acorns come the mightiest of oak trees.