Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Marshaling Integrity - Arjun Rajaratnam

These excerpts are taken from our interview of Arjun Rajaratnam, a compliance officer in the pharmaceutical industry.

It’s a challenging job. It’s a very challenging job. We are expected to create huge change across vast organizations, from a relatively, less-than-high-profile position. We’re getting to have more and more profile and more access, but nevertheless, we’re not as powerful as we’d like to be, but even with that lack of power, we’re expected to make great changes. I moved in from Environmental Law, and from the environmental lawyer perspective, compliance, at least the legal part of compliance, is easy. I’d dealt with hundreds of thousands of regulations, very gray and complicated ones, so trying to have a handle…it was a great background to be a generalist across 15/16 legal areas.

Pharmaceutical compliance officers are a very hot commodity. I get a headhunter call almost every other week for another compliance position in the pharmaceutical industry. All the pharmaceutical companies are expanding their compliance departments for obvious reasons, and so there’s a high degree of job security in the pharmaceutical compliance field. Again, like everything in a good capitalist economy, I expect that to peter out with time. As more and more people jump into it, and more and more people who are not compliance officers get a little training and are able to label themselves compliance officers, we’ll start to see the supply and demand equation change.

Arjun Rajaratnam's interview is included in Working for Integrity: Finding the Perfect Job in the Rapidly Growing Compliance and Ethics Field.

(All interviewees spoke to us about their own personal experiences and opinions; interviewees were not acting as a spokesperson or otherwise representing their current or former employers.)