Compliance is often treated as a buzzword in certain industries. It reemerges intermittently as a hot topic, and a short while later, it’s forgotten again. If you care about abiding by the law, maintaining high professional standards, and avoiding fines, though, regulatory compliance is at the top of your priorities. This issue is especially important for companies that work in any of the following eight industries where compliance is a critical matter.
The pharmaceutical industry is subject to extensive regulations at nearly every point. Researchers must comply with Food and Drug Administration’s Good Clinical Practice and Clinical Trials guidelines. Once a drug is developed, pharmaceutical companies must comply with standards prohibiting certain marketing tactics and kickbacks to prescribing physicians. Finally, pharmacists and health care providers must comply with prescription protocols to ensure that patients who use pharmaceutical drugs do so safely.
2. Health Care
The health care industry is also subject to many regulations, including the essential Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA regulates how health care providers are authorized to share privileged patient information. There are many other mandates, too, that health care providers and facilities must comply with, including laws regarding patients’ rights. In order to comply with these regulations, facilities must make efforts to keep all patient data secure and shielded, including practices such as sending a fax with HIPAA compliance from potential theft.
The field of biotechnology is constantly evolving, and this evolution demands the most stringent adherence to compliance standards. Several new pieces of legislature — for example, 2019’s American Patients First Act — have implemented new standards for biotech innovators. Companies in this field need a platform that enables GxP compliance. An effective platform can streamline workflows, manage regulatory standards, and ensure that products reach patients as efficiently as possible. Most importantly, a compliance platform can ensure that crucial data is protected and kept secure at all times.
4. Financial Services
The financial services sector must adhere to many strict regulations. Organizations such as banks, brokerages, and investment firms are overseen by the government’s Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Both of these federal organizations work to ensure that financial service providers comply with all relevant regulations. Violations can result in massive fines as well as legal penalties for offending companies. Any organization that handles financial matters must closely follow both state and federal laws governing their operations.
The cybersecurity industry is becoming increasingly important as threats against corporations continue to rise. In 2018, new compliance standards emerged along with the formation of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. CISA governs federal cybersecurity concerns and regulates cybersecurity issues within the private sector, too. Companies that offer these services must comply with the regulations set forth by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act of 2018 by preventing unauthorized access to data and maintaining standard security measures.
Companies in the industrial sector are some of the most heavily-regulated businesses in the U.S. thanks to the oversight of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA closely monitors safety regulations in industrial companies and imposes fees and penalties for violations. Some of the most important OSHA regulatory standards include wearing personal protective equipment, maintaining safe scaffolding structures, and preventing the spread of diseases. Companies in fields such as production, manufacturing, and warehousing should conduct compliance audits regularly.
Corporate businesses are subject to compliance issues, too. Any company that recruits employees, for example, must comply with the standards of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act. This law mandates that all employers must adhere to certain standards of fairness when hiring employees. A violation of this act could easily result in litigation or legal ramifications — even for major corporations. Companies can avoid this by developing compliance-centered hiring practices and inclusive recruiting strategies.
8. Higher Education
Compliance is a major issue in higher education. Colleges must adhere to the guidelines of regulations such as Title IX, and they must also comply with financial aid regulations set forth by the office of Federal Student Aid. These standards exist to protect students and ensure that education is accessible, so violations are often a serious matter — even if they do not result in litigation. Colleges that violate regulatory standards may have to pay fines, or in more severe cases, they may even face jeopardized accreditation.
These eight industries are some of the most heavily-regulated sectors in the U.S. No matter what field your company is in, though, investing in compliance is always essential. You must stay on top of regulations to avoid penalties.