The advent of Covid-19 meant that regional Life Sciences business leaders have been forced to navigate a broad range of issues. These include employee and customer safety, shoring-up cash for liquidity, reorienting operations to ensure supplies, and navigating government support programs and regulatory changes.
In an effort to bring a degree of clarity to compliance issues emerging from the current environment, our inaugural compliance survey comprises interviews with Middle East based leaders from Life Sciences principals and large regional distributors.
Our inaugural Middle East Life Sciences compliance survey provides a view on related practices in the sector. The purpose of the survey was to highlight compliance risks and associated trends, as well as identify mitigation strategies for Life Sciences companies.
- ‘Bribery and corruption’ was identified as the top compliance risk (rated ‘high risk’ by 38%), primarily due to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’s (FCPA) extra territorial regulations
- Data privacy was rated as ‘high risk’ by 20%, related to an increase in the number of cyberattacks during the Covid-19 pandemic
- Channel stuffing was acknowledged as a common financial statement risk (rated ‘high risk’ by 54%)
Future investment in compliance functions:
- More than three-quarters (79%) of industry leaders are anticipating regulatory changes and increased regulatory focus in the next two years
- Life Sciences companies are currently undergoing significant digital transformation, with more than half (57%) stating that they have already sanctioned digital and innovation projects to mitigate existing and anticipated compliance risks
- As a priority, about half (46%) of industry leaders are looking to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their compliance programs using regional industry data points on fair market value (FMV) for high-risk expenditures