Where the compliance officer, compliance committee, or a member of senior management discovers credible evidence of misconduct from any source and, after a reasonable inquiry, believes that the misconduct may violate criminal, civil, or administrative law, the company should promptly report the existence of misconduct to the appropriate federal and state authorities20 within a reasonable period, but not more than 60 days,21 after determining that there is credible evidence of a violation.22 Prompt voluntary reporting will demonstrate the pharmaceutical manufacturer’s good faith and willingness to work with governmental authorities to correct and remedy the problem. In addition, reporting such conduct will be considered a mitigating factor by the OIG in determining administrative sanctions (e.g., penalties, assessments, and exclusion), if the reporting company becomes the subject of an OIG investigation.23
When reporting to the government, a pharmaceutical manufacturer should provide all information relevant to the alleged violation of applicable federal or state law(s) and the potential financial or other impact of the alleged violation. The compliance officer, under advice of counsel and with guidance from the governmental authorities, could be requested to continue to investigate the reported violation. Once the investigation is completed, and especially if the investigation ultimately reveals that criminal, civil or administrative violations have occurred, the compliance officer should notify the appropriate governmental authority of the outcome of the investigation, including a description of the impact of the alleged violation on the operation of the applicable federal health care programs or their beneficiaries.