Health agency founder launches standalone ethics and compliance firm

Makara Health founder Louise Sharp and regulatory affairs specialist Dr Nick Broughton have launched a pharmaceutical ethics and compliance education agency called Ethos.

Dr Nick Broughton and Louise Sharp have launched a pharmaceutical ethics and compliance education agency
Dr Nick Broughton and Louise Sharp have launched a pharmaceutical ethics and compliance education agency

The company will offer training and education on pharmaceutical ethics as well as compliance courses on the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), and European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA ) codes of practice, in the form of events and online-learning modules.


The founders said they wanted people who accessed their events and materials to enjoy what they learned, and to promote a “deep understanding of regulation”.

Sharp, who has 25 years’ experience in PR and marketing, founded Makara Health more than seven years ago.

She will continue in her role as managing director of the healthcare agency, in addition to her job at Ethos.

Ethos, which is registered in Salisbury, is a standalone company and not owned by Makara Health.

The co-founders described staffing for Ethos as an “agile structure with people working from a range of locations.”

Commenting on the new company, Sharp said: “We develop and deliver learning experiences that are thought-provoking by being emotive and memorable. The ability to combine this approach with digital delivery offers something fresh and distinct to our clients.”

Broughton has worked in regulatory and compliance roles for agencies, including Havas Lynx, and pharma firms such as AstraZeneca and Celgene.

He has also delivered pharma ethics and compliance training on a consultancy basis to Makara Health for the past three years.

Commenting on the business, Broughton said: “For many people the experience of compliance training is not a positive one: it can seem dry, didactic and arbitrary.

“We believe compliance needs better marketing; good education, like good marketing, influences behaviour most when built on audience insight, and we invest a lot of effort in that.”

Top tips for pharma ethics and compliance

The co-founders offered four tips on code compliance and ethical behaviour in the pharma sector:

  • The pharma industry is different to just about every other industry in that it cannot promote what it produces to the end user.
  • Ensure you have a clear understanding of what ‘promotion’ of a medicine actually is. Surprisingly, perhaps, most people don’t. For example, a press release is not promotional, although many believe it is.
  • Make sure you have adequate medical and compliance resource to support you, work hard on establishing a good working relationship and involve them early in projects.
  • Understand that the same ethical principles that underpin compliance also underpin the emotive response in your audience. If you don’t give thought to ethics you won’t communicate as effectively.

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