Agenda Item
Docket No. 20-085
A request for advisory opinion, submitted by Dr. Gia Tyson, concerning whether the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics ("Code") would prohibit Dr. Tyson from participating in Gilead's Speaker's Bureau while employed by Ochsner.
Dr. Tyson is a practicing Transplant Hepatologist, the Chair of Hepatology, and the Director of the Liver Center at Oschner Baton Rouge. Additionally, she is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at LSU, where her staff manages the liver disease clinic with the LSU Baton Rouge internal medicine residents. She is a Clinical Network Specialist as a part of the Louisiana Department of Health's statewide initiative to eliminate the Hepatitis C virus. However, she does not have a direct relationship with LSU and LDH, as both entities contract with Ochsner for her services, as needed.

She participated in Gilead Sciences, Inc.'s Speakers Bureau. The Speaker's Bureau features experts who deliver informational lectures on the Hepatitis C virus. The lectures may be unbranded or branded. Unbranded talks include slides provided by Gilead that do not focus on Gilead products, but address Hepatitis C virus education, screening, and diagnosis, the complications of Hepatitis C virus, the cost effectiveness of Hepatitis C virus treatment, linkages to care, and more. Branded talks include slides provided by Gilead that focus on the Gilead products, primarily Epclusa, to educate providers on Hepatitis C virus evaluation, management, and treatment. She has participated in the Speaker's Bureau since 2015, giving both unbranded and branded talks around Louisiana.

She would like to be able to continue your participation in the Speaker's Bureau, where she receives compensation that covers reimbursement for her travel, as well as the time required for the preparation and presentation of her talks. Her duties at Oschner do not overlap with any of her responsibilities as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at LSU, a Clinical Network Specialist with LDH, or her participation in Gilead's Speaker's Bureau.
La. R.S. 42:1111C(1)(a) prohibits a public servant from receiving any thing of economic value for any service, the subject matter of which is devoted substantially to the responsibilities, programs, or operations of the agency of the public servant and in which the public servant has participated.
La. R.S. 42:1111(C)(2)(d) provides that no public servant and no legal entity in which the public servant exercises control or owns an interest in excess of twenty-five percent, shall receive any thing of economic value for or in consideration of services rendered, or to be rendered, to or for any person during his public service unless such services are: (d) Neither performed for nor compensated by any person or from any officer, director, agent, or employee of such person, if such public servant knows or reasonably should know that such person has or is seeking to obtain contractual or other business or financial relationships with the public servant's agency; conducts operations or activities which are regulated by the public employee's agency; or has substantial economic interests which may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the public employee's official duty.

Adopt the proposed opinion.
Assigned Attorney: LaToya Jordan
2020-02-24 Advisory Opinion.v2.draft (Docket No. 2020-085)
2020-085 - Advisory Opinion Request Gia Tyson