J&J compliance to tag along on sales calls

Any police-beat reporter worth the title occasionally rides along with the cops on the street. Now, Johnson & Johnson sales reps are getting ride-alongs too--only it's the cops who are tagging along to watch.

Under its recent $81 million Topamax settlement with the Department of Justice, J&J subsidiary Ortho-McNeil Janssen Pharmaceuticals inked a corporate integrity agreement. And it requires compliance officers to accompany randomly selected sales reps, in every therapeutic area, for every actively marketed drug, and across the entire U.S., Medical Marketing & Media reports. Anytime a compliance officer observes untoward marketing activity, that tidbit of info has to go into a report for the Office of Inspector General.

A J&J spokesman told MM&M that managers already do some ride-alongs: "There is management oversight of our reps," J&J's Greg Panico said. It's unclear whether those existing ride-alongs involve compliance types or regular old sales managers. Either way, information gleaned during those observations hasn't been gathered for Inspector General perusal.

Other tidbits from the integrity agreement: Reps have to take part in a three-hour training course on regulatory law and penalties for violations. An independent reviewer has to be hired to assess Ortho-McNeil Janssen's promotional activities. Paid speakers have to sign agreements that detail their compliance obligations. Check out the document for more.

- see the integrity agreement at PolicyMed
- read the MM&M story