Seton Hall Law White Paper Addresses the Role and Place of Compliance Officers in Life Sciences Companies

December 26, 2018

Seton Hall Law School’s Center for Health & Pharmaceutical Law & Policy (Center) has published a new White Paper addressing whether compliance effectiveness is affected by the position of the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer (CECO) within the organizational structure of a life sciences company. The White Paper, entitled “The Role and Place of Compliance Within Life Sciences:  The Imperative of Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Independence,” offers a fresh perspective on this hotly contested issue.

“While much of the discussion has focused on where compliance fits in life sciences organizations” explained Dean Kathleen Boozang, co-author of the paper, “we conclude that the key to ensuring effective compliance is not structure but the genuine independence of the CECO.”

Senior Associate Dean and co-author Timothy Glynn echoes, “A critical factor in achieving a pervasive ethical business culture is a board and CEO who value an independent CECO possessing the autonomy and authority to meet ethical and compliance objectives.”

Drawing on available evidence, the relevant scholarship, and the feedback from many experts and stakeholders, the Paper offers unique insights, including identifying ten basic ingredients of CECO independence.  It also suggests that the debate over the relationship between corporate counsel and the CECO will wane as their respective skill sets evolve, largely because of CECOs’ increasing reliance on predictive analytics.  Finally, the paper encourages ethics and compliance officers to be more forward thinking and to broaden their function to encompass emerging ethical issues not yet addressed by law. 

The White Paper is available on the Center’s website.

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