Case Study (2): Opinion 2

Ethics & Compliance Magazine | Year 1, 2016, Issue #1 | Author(s): Bogdan Popescu (Bayer Romania)

1. Risk Analysis

Inappropriate business relations with a third party Business relationships must be established based on clear, objective criteria. In this respect, indicators such as expertise, experience, quality of services, long-term relationship without significant challenges and opportunities for future common projects, represent valuable aspects to be considered for a trustworthy business partnership. In the above mentioned case, such criteria were completely ignored and the only purpose followed by the Medical Director was to create an unlawful advantage for his business partner.

Accepting the physician in a business relationship without observing the mentioned criteria was influenced by the personal relationship between him and the Medical Director who actually made the internal decision. This qualifies as a breach of the Code of Ethics not only for this personal relationship, but also because the decision gave priority to personal interests or gains.

The corporate activities implemented in the context of an undisclosed conflict of interest could undermine the trust in the management of Health MD, but also damage the reputation of the company and produce a negative perception among its business partners which could consider themselves discriminated.

 

2. Measures for Protecting the Company

First of all, it is important to cooperate with the Compliance Officer in order to establish the appropriate internal processes for preventing conflict of interest on a regular basis. This can be done through implementing mandatory disclosure forms, early warning mechanisms and systematic internal communication on the impact of conflict of interests on business.

Secondly, for all major business decisions, it is important to involve the top management. Likewise, in the approval flow of the relevant documents for this kind of decisions, the legal and compliance experts should always assume or be asked to assume a more active role.

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