There are many significant compliance risks inherent in the selling of pharmaceutical and life science products across a network of overseas governments, hospitals and distributors.
As a consequence, an efficient and accurate screening solution is absolutely essential. In this article, we examine the risks of the traditional, manual methods of compliance screening and consider the benefits and efficiencies of a tailored, automated approach.
The key questions to consider are:
- Do you know who you are working with or who you are selling your products to?
- How do you mitigate the risks across multi-national supply chains, an international distribution chain and a reliance on a network of third-party agents and distributors for the sale of pharmaceuticals and life sciences products globally?
The wider your network, the greater exposure you have to a portfolio of risk, cost, performance and regulatory pressure.
Screening is an essential part of third-party risk management programmes, anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance programmes. But are you doing it effectively and efficiently? How can you satisfy the regulators and your shareholders that you have covered all bases? Can you afford the reputational and financial risk of getting it wrong? Screening results only become meaningful for the business when tailored in accordance with an organisation’s risk profile and appetite.
An inefficient screening program:
- may leave you exposed to regulatory action and fines;
- causes delays in the onboarding of vendors or customers;
- increases the overall cost of compliance; and
- increases the risk of exposure of the organisation from manual or judgemental errors.
Many organisations conduct adverse media screening by manually searching the public domain, eg. through Google or Bing, generally during onboarding and periodic reviews of vendors or customers. This method generates a large volume of results which are then reviewed by analysts to identify relevant matches and ensure they are accurate. This can be time-consuming and therefore costly. But what happens if you are also dealing with a complex supply chain operating across multiple jurisdictions?
Towards automated compliance
One option to improve the accuracy and speed of screening for pharmaceutical and life sciences firms, is the use of screening engines that leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) techniques including Natural Language processing. However, many of the options available on the market still rely on a manual review process to reduce the number of false positives, such as positive news categorised as adverse or screening results that are wrongly categorised and not relevant for an organisation’s risk appetite. Furthermore, an often neglected key challenge for all stakeholders involved in a compliance screening programme is the user experience associated with the programme activities. It becomes painful to keep track of email communication, multiple versions of reports and status of screening results. Often service levels across the screening services provided by internal teams or external providers are tracked manually. Another hurdle is the inability to generate adequate meaningful risk insights using analytics for the compliance function from screening services.
Our solutions seek to address all of these issues, making a screening programme fit for purpose.
How can Mazars help?
Our automated screening services focus on reducing false positives and tailoring results in accordance to the risk profile and appetite of an organisation, whilst focusing on enhancing the user experience of stakeholders.
Our services improve your screening program using:
- a regular assessment to help continually improve and redesign your existing program to make it ‘fit for the future’;
- the use of industry-leading AI and ML based screening engines; and
- our proprietary digital platform with intelligent automation capabilities such as:
- a cloud-based digital platform to improve user experience;
- robotic combined with advanced Machine Learning techniques to reduce false positives by 95%; and
- an AI engine that tailors screening results to organisational risk profile and generates report templates.
Now is the time to explore the efficiencies that automation can bring to your compliance screening. For more details, please contact the team.