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Challenge of Delivering Engaging and Effective Compliance Training to Life Sciences Sales & Marketing Professionals (Part 2 of 6)

Note that the ideas presented in this article are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my current employer.

Creating The Workshop Educational Video Series

We kicked off the project on a blistery cold winter day in Chicago. Me and two scriptwriters from The Second City were going through my research on the pharmaceutical sales and marketing profession, and the compliance challenges they face each day. After a few hours of brainstorming, we took a break. One of the scriptwriters, referring to pharmaceutical salespeople, said: “I think these people need therapy”. We ended the day with a laugh and we headed back to our hotels with plans to re-group the next morning. I thought about our design discussions and the “therapy” comment while exercising in the hotel gym the following morning. I pictured a comedy movie that I had seen where people sat around a circle sharing their stories in a therapy session. I wondered what it would be like if the main character was asked to sit and listen to stories by other life science professionals who had violated healthcare laws and faced the consequences. I had a long list of industry case summaries, including a story told to me by a Department of Justice attorney. The idea was hatched.

Kim, a sales representative and the main character in the story made a few compliance missteps in the field that landed her in a therapy-like workshop led by a former sales executive who was under house arrest for his past crimes. The other people in the workshop were from different pharmaceutical companies except for one character who was a physician. I wanted to add the perspective of the healthcare profession to balance out the discussions. The character, Dr. Filmore balanced out the stories and provided the comedy relief to the serious discussions in the group. I have now completed 17 episodes of The Workshop with The Second City to develop four unique stories including Season 1: Kim’s Journey, Season 2: Todd’s and Sarah the MSL, Season 3: Nora’s Coaches Adam, Season 4: Jim FLIBs Speaker Programs, Season 5: Jake and Call Notes, and at the time of writing this, we are working on Season 6: Matrix Teams the Musical. Each season addresses multiple principles related to pharmaceutical sales and marketing compliance topics.

Season 1, Kim’s Journey

The first season (or series) of The Workshop targeted product-promotion compliance topics typically covered in a sales new-hire program. The principles covered in Season 1 included, (a) delivering balanced, truthful, and non-misleading messaging, (b) staying on-label,  (c) avoiding violations of the anti-kickback statute and the false claims act, (d) providing proper oversight of speaker programs, (e) using samples to influence script writing, (f) protecting patient information when providing patient support, and (g) the value of speaking up.

Next up: I will break down Episode 1 and provide ideas for using the videos in a Compliance Training course.