In early February, while the government was breathing down Eli Lilly's neck over questionable marketing tactics used to peddle its schizophrenia drug Zyprexa, an Eli Lilly in-house attorney was working on a way to settle the matter.
The lawyer was writing an e-mail full of sensitive information pertaining to the settlement, which included a fine that would be the largest ever paid by a drug company for breaking federal laws regulating how drug makers can promote their medicines. She meant to address the message to Brad Berenson, a partner at Sidley Austin, and outside counsel on the case.
This process begins with the establishment of policies. Policies are customizable combinations of rule sets that in-house counsel can institute to help automatically enforce acceptable use policies. Policies can take the shape of banned keywords, whereby the software, using its built-in lexicon, can scan e-mail messages for trigger words such as sexual and racist vocabulary.
"With our software, you can have multiple lexicons for different business units, such as R&D and HR," says Bill Tolson, director of legal and regulatory solutions marketing at Mimosa Systems Inc. "All those lexicons will be compared in real time as files flow through the system."
"If you give people the ability to self-correct, that has a huge impact on two things," Tziahanas says. "It is a deterrent in and of itself, but it also is a great way to educate employees."