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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Emerging compliance and ethics trends set to influence the pharma sector

Health Industry Hub | May 23, 2022 |
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Pharma News: After 12 years with Medicines Australia, former Head of Ethics and Compliance, Sophie Hibburd, is transitioning to a new role in industry.

Sophie joined Health Industry Hub to discuss the evolution of the pharma compliance and ethics Code, the key challenges that companies have had to navigate through since the start of the pandemic, and the recent TGA guidelines cracking down on unethical social media use.

Sophie reflected on the role of big data in optimising compliance effectiveness and efficiency, and the future trends that are set to transform the compliance and ethics Code in the pharma sector in aligning with the changing external ecosystem.

Sophie said “What has changed is that we’ve gone from being the colleague that says no to a business partner that facilitates conversations and influences behaviour and decision making in the way we interact with our partners. I think that’s been a really positive step.”

With respect to the use of social media in the pharma sector, Sophie said “Just be prepared that you need to have ways to mitigate conversations. You need to be responsive to it. It’s not as simple and as easy as chucking an ad in a newspaper and walking away. It needs a return on investment. It needs somebody to look at it. It needs vigilance and guidance. But it’s something that we can’t hide from and it’s something that isn’t going to go away.”

In reflecting on the compliance and ethics changes being considered globally, Sophie added “Will we ever go back to sponsoring healthcare professionals to travel the world to attend a congress for three days and turn back around and come home? I know that these conversations are happening on a global level. They’re not just happening here at Medicines Australia with the Australian industry. They are happening in every single jurisdiction around the world.

“I see the way we engage in hospitality changing. I see the way we provide meals [to healthcare professionals] in all sorts of different occasions might change…and I think that sits hand in hand with sponsorship.”


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