The Asia Pacific region is becoming increasingly important for Vifor Pharma. So making sure everyone has the right mind-set when it comes to integrity and is aware of what to look out for really matters. Appropriate training is crucial – both externally for partners and internally for our own employees.
Internally, the “speak up” culture is very important. Employees need to take their duty to report concerns seriously. To encourage this, we look at examples of how other companies get into trouble. It's eye opening, and employees can see the “why” behind our policies and procedures.
Externally, the initial focus is on due diligence and compliance training for third parties, especially partners and distributors selling and promoting our products. In some cases, that might include checking if their data privacy systems are appropriate and secure. Our priority is to make sure we’re aware of any compliance risks or potential conflicts of interest.
In recent years, the environment around compliance in the region has improved. Many companies we engage with are familiar with our requirements, when three or four years ago they might have said “why do we need to do all this?” The younger generation of doctors are also helping the drive for greater compliance in many countries.
For partners, education and alignment is important. I frequently use video-conferencing for training, which allows them to ask questions and become more comfortable reaching out to us afterwards. This helps us identify risks proactively.
What’s especially helpful from a compliance perspective is that Vifor Pharma is an organisation with a rather flat hierarchy. It’s agile and decisions can be taken quickly. Our business leaders all speak the same language on compliance.