LEO Pharma: Driving Compliance in Asia

July 9, 2019

See Li Lynn, LEO Pharma’s HR Manager, South Asia, talks about how LEO is managing the compliance challenges in Asia.

See Li Lynn is LEO Pharma’s HR Manager, South Asia. For this month's Pharm Exec Compliance Focus, we spoke to her about how LEO is managing the compliance challenges in Asia.

 

What for LEO Pharma are the current key compliance challenges across the Asia region?

See Li Lynn: The concept of compliance within the Asian region started in early 2010s with some of the infamous compliance cases from multinational pharmaceutical companies. Whilst many MNCs in pharma have now moved forward to strengthen compliance awareness and follow EFPIA/IFPIA and local pharmaceutical codes, overall, the awareness and education of Asian teams is still in early stages. This is also clearly observed in the Corruption Perception Index, which for the Asian region is generally lower than for European countries.

Generally, how do compliance challenges vary from country to country across the region, and how do you deal with these variations?

Within Asian countries, there are different country-specific pharma codes; multinational companies (MNCs) are following the international codes. However, there are variations due to market dynamics, e.g, issuance of reasonable amount of medical samples. Hence, there is a frequent need to keep abreast of the individual country’s development. In some countries, it is also observed that the local pharmaceutical companies are not governed by the local pharma codes, while the MNCs pharma are abiding by the codes. This sometimes cause an imbalance in terms of the sponsorships types that HCPs are accorded. In case of LEO Pharma, we have explicitly educated the teams and, at the same time, pledged ourselves to follow the local as well as international codes.  

Would you say there is a lack of a “speak up” culture in some of the countries in the region? How is this being addressed?

Yes, typically, some of the cultures maybe more muted in terms of speaking up. However, within this part of the region, we have regular touch points as well as established local points of contacts within our local teams where the Field Force may approach.

How is LEO’s use of compliance metrics and Key Performance Indicators evolving in the region?

Over the past few years, we have seen more compliance-related metrics/KPIs being used. These act as a good proxy for business leaders to understand the compliance situation and offer an index of measurement which will help identify programs that will work well within the region. For example, we have a CSA Compliance Incentives Program that for the Field Force. This incentive is to drive good compliance behavior and adherence to processes. We measure the payout rate to understand if the local teams are adopting and executing the practices well.

How are skills gaps among compliance teams being addressed?

On a yearly basis, we encourage the compliance team to take at least one external training program, and we maintain a close network with our distributor compliance departments. On a regular basis, we share compliance-related articles within the team to ensure that we keep abreast of new developments within the region.