Top 5 Things to Remember When Contracting with Big Pharma
If applicable to your company, inquire whether there are any special opportunities for small, diverse or woman-owned businesses. Many larger companies have programs that promote these businesses within their organizations. This can be your foot in the door. When reviewing or marking up a “big pharma” form agreement, make sure your counsel understands your leverage and the issues that are most important to your business. Recognize, however, that your first agreement with the company is your best chance to obtain concessions, and that you might not get a chance to renegotiate. Indemnification will always be a problematic section of any contract. Work with counsel to limit the scope of the indemnity to the extent possible, and then work with your insurance broker to ensure that you have insurance coverage for your indemnity obligations. Consider specialized intellectual property infringement insurance coverage if you operate in a field with significant intellectual property infringement risk. Ask for all applicable policies up front. There can be real costs associated with compliance, which may factor into your pricing discussions or RFP response. To the extent you have them, offer your own policies for review in lieu of the company’s policies. If you don’t have your own policies, consider creating common policies, such as travel and expense reimbursement, that align with your customers’ policies. Ask whether all policies really apply to the products or services you are providing. This is especially true with insurance requirements, which may be very flexible depending on the nature of the products and services. You may also be able to narrow the application of certain policies (e.g., background checks or drug testing only for on site workers).