Andy Bender, President & FounderPharmaceutical and medical device companies have paid more than $25 billion in fines for violating compliance requirements over the last 10 years in the US alone. Polaris helps its clients stay out of trouble, by providing global technology and consulting services.
Polaris Solutions’ unique selling proposition is that it leverages the expertise gained from providing consulting services to its clients into developing technology offerings. “Our consulting business allows me to forerun and anticipate where the market is going,” exclaims Andy Bender. “In addition, most clients require us to go beyond providing technology solutions, by providing related services that make our global implementations successful.” Examples of additional consulting services include Fair Market Value and Change and Project Management. Through a blend of technology and consulting, Bender has built Polaris Solutions into a full services Software-as- a-Service company.
An example of a product that was developed through its consulting business is Polaris’ latest HCP Interaction Portal (HIP). The challenge for all companies is the ever-increasing demand for transparency reporting. An average pharmaceutical company deals with 25,000-50,000 Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) annually on a global basis, resulting in millions of payments to be reported. Polaris’ HIP is a global solution supporting the contracting with HCPs (Health Care Professionals) and Health Care Organizations. Companies have to track payments to avoid financial penalties and reputational damage. Taking into consideration major statues, like the Anti-kickback Statue, FCPA, and the UK Bribery and French Bertrand Act, Polaris’ solutions enable their clients to electronically contract with HCPs, pay Fair Market value, and confirm that the services have been provided. “HIP allows a pharmaceutical company to contract with all of its HCPs globally, and track contracts and payments. The system allows us to define the physician’s level of expertise, and assign FMV fees for the services,” Bender explains. As a next step, the HIP system generates contracts electronically, making it accessible by email for the physicians to electronically sign. In addition, companies can ensure the activities like HCP nominations and proposed compensation have been appropriately reviewed and approved, and they collect information about HCPs attending meetings for State and Federal reporting purposes.
Offering consulting services in our space, allows us to better understand our clients’ needs, enabling us to develop next generation technology solutions
Besides HIP, Polaris also delivers software solutions that track all spend for Health Care Organizations (HCOs). These include its Request Management System (RMS) for grant and charitable funding (CME), and the Investigator Initiated Studies (IIS) portal. The Global Aggregate Spend Solution (STAR) collects reportable spend data to support State and Federal transparency reporting requirements. Polaris is currently in the process of developing four new products as it increases its portfolio of compliance technology solutions.
“We are considered to be strong subject matter experts in the market with only one-stop global technology platform. Our staff, which includes five consultants with a law background, track regulations globally, allowing us to anticipate changes to our systems and our clients’ needs,” assures Bender. “Our competitors are pure technology players and tend to be in a more reactive mode as it relates to emerging regulations and operational issues. With the consulting work as a solid foundation, we have a more mature understanding about the pressing challenges facing our clients,” beams the Dutch-American.
“Data analytics and reporting is the next frontier,” Bender explains. Polaris is currently developing its next generation solutions, focusing on how to use collected data for strategic decision making purposes. Our focus now is on analyzing HCP spend, helping clients make informed, strategic decisions,” Bender states.