Compliance training catching at agencies

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The healthcare unit of Omnicom's Diversified Agency Services has contracted with the Center for Communication Compliance for regulatory compliance training and certification.

“Our clients expect us to share responsibility for developing communications with a thorough understanding of the complex regulatory environment around the world,” said DAS healthcare chief Rob Dhoble in a release. “That's why we've made compliance training and certification an important strategic investment for our network.”

Due to differences in laws governing pharma promotion between different European markets, DAS Europe will train its pan-European account teams in EU regulatory compliance tailored for specific countries. Omnicom's Cline, Davis Mann will also train its Western European staff through its internal development program, CDM University.

“The launch of CDM World Agency makes it imperative for us to enhance our knowledge of promotional regulations in the G5 and key emerging markets where we now have agencies to support our clients,” said CDM managing partner Lori Klein.

Also signing up was WPP promotional med ed firm IMsci. Last year, WeberShandwick's 100-person healthcare PR practice underwent certification from the firm, as did Porter Novelli's New York office.

The Center for Communication Compliance (CCC) offers regulatory compliance tests on advertising, promotional medical education and social media for 45 markets. The company is headed by former GCI Healthcare head Ilyssa Levins.

Companies are increasingly eager to show good faith efforts on compliance, said a CCC spokeswoman, as regulatory scrutiny on promotional practices increases and penalties grow harsher. Increasingly, corporate integrity agreements are making company executives personally liable, as did the CIA in AstraZeneca's Seroquel off-label marketing settlement in April.

“Whether it's ensuring the accurate submission of promotional materials for a newly approved drug or bringing entire global teams up to speed on regulatory fundamentals, there's never been a more pressing need to get things right the first time around,” said Levins.
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