Independent Review Organizations (“IRO”) and Conflicts of Interest – Much Ado About Nothing or a Serious Problem
Robert N. Wilkey, Esq., Staff Writer for Life Science Compliance Update
As part of the process of entering into civil and criminal settlement negotiations with the government resulting from allegations of noncompliance, life science companies are increasingly seeking the retention of third-party regulatory compliance and auditing companies, designated collectively as independent review organizations (“IROs”) to facilitate such process. Recently, there is renewed skepticism and heightened criticism over the companies’ use of such IROs, especially given revelations that companies are choosing IROs that they may have had business relationships with in the past or present. Despite this, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and other government oversight agencies argue that the current status quo is effectively working, including the already established standards, qualifications, and other guidelines for the selection of an IRO. This article examines the various view points and what it means for the life science compliance professional.