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School’s Focus on Latin American Health Care Compliance in Spotlight at Panama Conference

September 02, 2016
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“One of the most effective ways to combat corporate misconduct is by seeking accountability from the individuals who perpetrated the wrongdoing.” That was just some of the insight about health care compliance shared by Anita Cava, professor of business law, during the third Latin American Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Compliance Congress held in Panama Aug. 23 to 25. The conference, for which the School was an association partner, covered topics such as ethics in the health care industry, effective distributor management, anti-corruption principles and health care compliance.

Cava, who is also director of the School’s Business Ethics Program, has examined the legal and ethical obligations of corporations and has been published in such prestigious journals as UC Davis Law Review, American Business Law Journal, Richmond Journal of Global Law and Business, among others. She is currently working on a paper titled: “Compliance Officers & The Threat of Personal Liability: Searching for a ‘Clear Line’ in Shifting Sands.” At the conference, she discussed important issues in an executive roundtable including the Latin American repercussions of the Yates Memo, changes in responsibility inherent to the compliance function, changes needed in compliance training, and tools for recruiting.

Cava and her co-panelists described the role of compliance office as a “Gatekeeper.” She also noted that a compliance officer must be “an agent of change.” She said “the conversation is very different in the U.S. and it will percolate out,” making this an important matter to bring to the attention of compliance officers worldwide, even those whose local laws are more permissive and whose people do not trust their legal system to address corruption. 

The School of Business is committed to research and education surrounding ethics and compliance. The School offers a Latin American Health Care Compliance Certificate Program that provides health care compliance officers with the knowledge and experience they need to successfully navigate the increasingly complex pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device regulatory environment in Latin America. It also offers a four-day no credit/no cost compliance boot camp for undergraduates during winter break each January, as well as a new course, The Art and Science of Compliance. Further, its students participate in the University’s annual Ethics Bowl and Bioethics Bowl, among other initiatives.

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