September 19, 2018

Over the weekend, the New York Times and ProPublica broke a jointly-reported story about a top breast cancer research doctor failing to disclose pharmaceutical company financial ties that stretched into millions of dollars over the course of several years.

The Times reported that Dr. José Baselga, the chief medical officer at the renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, had provided inadequate disclosures of some of the consulting fees he received and financial interests he held in cancer-research startups.

Although Baselga expressed regret for the oversights and pledged to go back and correct the omissions, the damage in the court of public perception has been done: The impartiality of Dr. Baselga’s valuable breast cancer clinical trial research he oversaw, papers he authored and progress made under leadership positions he held, such as during his tenure as president of the American Association for Cancer Research, are now clouded.

And to what end? The case of Dr. Baselga is a chilling cautionary tale for top-tier medical professionals whose skills are sought after by Life Sciences companies to design, interpret and educate fellow health care professionals about critical therapeutic innovations. Without their participation, their insights and expertise, lifesaving breakthrough innovations can go undiscovered. It is instances like these that bring into sharp relief the need for a comprehensive, compliance-centric reporting system.

According to the Times, a spokesperson for Memorial Sloan Kettering said the burden fell on Dr. Baselga to “disclose such relationships to entities like medical journals,” a response that is illustrative of how much of today’s growing regulatory burden entails shifting responsibility and putting the weight of compliance on the shoulders of busy and dedicated scientists and clinical professionals.

In the future, Life Sciences companies are likely to face growing demand from their clinical partners concerned about risk mitigation. They will request, if not require, access to easy-to-use, turnkey technology solutions that equip them with the tools to self-manage their interconnected roles and obligations.

Especially for healthcare professionals at the top of their fields, the value of having all of their commitments within a compliance-centered framework can hardly be overstated. Platforms which offer both web and mobile access to facilitate access from around the world empower them to use their scientific talents to the best of their abilities, whether that be through clinical trial design, research, consulting, speaking and all the other ways these leaders advance medical progress.

When these sought-after professionals consider with which Life Sciences companies to engage, the value-add of having such a robust suite of management tools at their fingertips is a powerful incentive.


Contributed by:

Susan Hill, SVP, Global Products & Solutions, AHM

Susan joined AHM in June of 2013 and is responsible for the oversight and management of AHM’s Global Business Development and Solutions and Marketing team. With over nineteen years of experience in the Life Science industry, Susan brings experience in business development, product marketing, and new technology investment and optimization.

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