Michelle D. Axelrod

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Michelle D. Axelrod is the resident  principal of Porzio, Bromberg & Newman’s New England office  and Vice President, Porzio Life Sciences.  Michelle has over 20 years of experience addressing legal and compliance issues impacting companies in the life sciences industry; 15 years as in-house counsel.  

As principal of Porzio, Michelle primarily counsels pharmaceutical, medical device  and biotech clients on legal and compliance issues related to product commercialization and related sales, marketing and reimbursement activities. Michelle reviews promotional content and medical communications, advises on fraud and abuse matters and related issues, provides direction regarding field and account management and supports clients’ compliance initiatives, including the development of policies/SOPs, training, and monitoring and auditing programs.  Michelle also negotiates, drafts and reviews commercial and government contracts, including discount and rebate agreements with health plans/PBMs, retail/specialty pharmacies, GPOs, wholesalers and other healthcare entities.  In addition, she handles  distribution agreements and other fee-for-service consulting and service arrangements common in the life sciences industry. 

As Vice President of Porzio Life Sciences, Michelle offers additional services to provide clients with innovative and practical solutions to satisfy compliance program objectives and improve compliance initiatives as they related to privacy, spend transparency, state distribution licensing and sampling.

Prior to joining Porzio, Michelle held the position of Assistant General Counsel at Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc., formerly Sepracor Inc.  In this role, she served as the lead commercial and regulatory attorney supporting the development and commercialization activities for seven products.  She also helped to build the company's compliance program.

Drawing from her in-house experience, Michelle offers valuable insights to clients on corporate dynamics and provides innovative ideas to support business goals while effectively protecting companies and mitigating organizational risk.  She understands the importance of collaboration between business units, and the Legal and Compliance teams.  

  • "Getting the Deal Through - Life Sciences 2014," United States Chapter, published by Getting the Deal Through, 2014.
  • "Getting the Deal Through - Life Sciences 2013," United States Chapter, published by Getting the Deal Through, 2013.
  • "Getting the Deal Through - Life Sciences 2012," United States Chapter, published by Getting the Deal Through, February 2012.
  • "Is Misconduct Worth A Corporate Integrity Agreement?", Regulatory Affairs Focus, Vol. 12, No. 1, January 2007.
  • "Compliance or False Reliance, Complying with the HIPAA Privacy Rule - A Barrier to Competition in the Home Health Marketplace," Journal of Health Care Compliance, April 2003.
Speaking Engagements
  • "A Look at Patient Ad Boards, Clinical Trial Consultants and Ambassador Programs, 17th Annual Pharmaceutical Compliance Congress 2020, Speaker, Virtual/Online, August 13, 2020.
  • "What you say matters: Communication Pitfalls and Whistleblower Risks," AdvaMed Bootcamp MedTech Compliance 101/201, Washington, DC, October 21, 2019.
  • "Where Is the Line? Tackling the Overlap in Medical and Commercial Activities," CBI 5th Annual Life Sciences Compliance Congress for Specialty Products, Boston, MA, September 12, 2019.
  • "Defining Key Terms and Congress Level-Setting," CBI Patient Support Services Congress at Philadelphia, PA, June 19, 2019.
  • "Key Aspects of Planning and Executiing Advisory Boards," Comprehensive Strategies for Managing HCP Interactions, Philadelphia, PA, October 10, 2018.
  • "Shed Light on Regulatory and Compliance Concerns for Specialty Pharmacy Distribution," CBI's 4th Compliance Congress for Specialty Products, Boston, MA, Spetember 13, 2018.
  • "Retaining Women in the workplace," ACI's 4th annual women Leaders in Life Science Law, Boston, MA, July 20, 2017.
  • Panelist, "Negotiating Your Career," AdvaMed's 2017 Women's Executive Network Conference, Cambridge, MA, June 20, 2017.
  • Moderator, "Elite CCO Exchange and Fireside Chat," CBI's 14th Annual Pharmaceutical Compliance Congress, Washington, DC, April 27, 2017.
  • Moderator, "Compliance Measurements," Porzio New England Healthcare Compliance Roundtable, Waltham, MA, April 7, 2017.
  • Moderator, "Best Practices to Successfully Implement Global Compliance in the Life Sciences Industry and Beyond," CBI's 3rd Annual Global Compliance Congress, London, UK, November 16, 2016.
  • "Mock Promotional Review Group Panel Discussion," AdvaMed's 7th Annual Advertising and Promotion of Medical Devices Conference, Washington, DC, November 10, 2016.
  • "AdvaMed MedTech Compliance 201: A Deeper Dive into the Compliance Landscape," Washington, DC, September 21, 2016.
  • "AdvaMed MedTech Compliance 101: Boot Camp," Washington, DC, September 19-20, 2016.
  • Moderator, "Small Group Breakouts and Interactive Town Hall: Identifying Tactical Next Steps in the Quest for Professional and Personal Development," ACI's 3rd Annual Conference on Women Leaders in Life Sciences Law, Boston, MA, July 29, 2016. 
  • "Anti-Trust Guidelines Regarding Pricing and Contracting," Anti-Trust Attorney, ACI's Bio/Pharmaceutial Pricing and Contracting, Silver Spring, MD, March 15, 2016.
  • Moderator, "In-House Roundtable on Commercial Trends in Pharma: A Conversation on Where the Industry is Now and Preparing for Where It’s Going," ACI’s 16th Annual Forum on Fraud and Abuse in the Sales and Marketing of Drugs, Boston, MA, March 10, 2016.
  • "AdvaMed MedTech Compliance Boot Camp," Moderator, Washington, DC, November 4-5, 2015. 
  • "Professional Development and Coaching for Women Leaders: Improving Negotiation, Public Speaking, and Managing Stressful Situations," ACI's 2nd Annual Conference on Women Leaders in Life Sciences Law, Boston, MA, July 24, 2015.
  • "SelectUSA Investment Seminar,” 2015 Bio International Convention, Philadelphia, PA, June 18, 2015.
  • "The FDA Is Watching: What Twitter, Tradeshows and TV Have in Common," FDAnews Webinar, February 11, 2014, December 11, 2014.
  • "Compliance Essentials: Implementing an Effective Program," Intensive Course Leader, AdvaMed, Washington, DC, September 23-24, 2014.
  • Moderator, "Engaging Healthcare Professionals in the US and Overseas: Issues and Challenges," Small and Mid-Sized Life Sciences Companies Still Face Big Issues - Minimzing the Risks," Porzio Compliance Forum, Newark, NJ, October 18, 2013.
  • "Compliance Spotlight:  Moving from Sales to Education and Beyond: Scaling the Legal and Regulatory Hurdles," CMR Institute, ACO's and Industry: The Collaboration Imperative, Philidelphia, PA, October 10-11, 2013.
  • Pre-Conference Workshop, "Endure Compliant Pre-Approval Product Communications," CBI Promotional Conference, October 7-8, 2013.
  • "Compliance for the Small-to-Midsize Medical Device Company – Challenges and Solutions," AdvaMed Intensive Course, 2013 MedTech Conference, Washington, DC, September 23-25, 2013.
  • Moderator,"Medical Device Compliance Panel: Practical Approaches to Handling Real-Life (and Sometimes Tricky) Compliance Issues," MassDevice Big 100 East, Waltham, MA, July 16, 2013.
  • "Lessons Learned from Recent Enforcement to the Product Promotion," CBI's 10th Annual Pharmaceutical Compliance Congress, Washington, DC, January 29-30, 2013.
  • "Transparency & Disclosure - Best Practices for Medical Device Compliance," AdvaMed 2012, Boston, MA, October 1-3, 2012.
  • "Sunshine in a New Light – A Strategic Approach to Achieving Compliance," Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Global Transparency Initiatives Conference, Boston, MA, May 22, 2012.
  • "Fair Market Value:  Legal, Theoretical, and Practical Considerations,"  American Health Lawyer Association’s Life Sciences Practice Group and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law Section of the New York State Bar Association Webinar, New York, NY, May 8, 2012.  
  • "Compliance Considerations for Medical Device Manufacturers," Bay Area Medical Device Forum, San Francisco, CA, November 16, 2011.  
  • "Utilizing Audits and Risk Evaluation to Assess and Enhance the State of Your Compliance Program," ACI’s 2nd Annual Life Sciences Compliance Boot Camp, San Francisco, CA, November 15, 2011.
  • "Regulatory and Compliance Risk Areas Related to Social Media," CBI’s 13th Annual Guidelines for Disseminating Off-Label Information, Washingto,n DC, October 17, 2011.
  • "Promotion Pitfalls: From Slim Jims to Social Media," The Life Sciences Industry Under Attack—Mitigating the Risks, Seventh Annual Porzio Compliance Forum, Newark, NJ, October 14, 2011.
  • "State Laws, Sunshine and Aggregate Spend Boot Camp – Practical Strategies and Best Practices for Compliant State and Federal Reporting Workshop," CBI’s 5th Annual Forum on Tracking State Laws and Aggregate Spend, Arlington, VA, August 15, 2011.
  • "Risks & Enforcement Related to The Use of Testimonials," CBI’s 2nd Annual Life Sciences Forum on Social Media Regulations and Compliance, Alexandria, VA, June 21, 2011.  
  • ACI's 9th National Forum on Fraud & Abuse in the Sale and Marketing of Drugs, New York City, NY, April 2009.
  • "Compliance with Aggregate Spend Reporting Requirements," Third Annual Porzio Compliance Forum, Porzio Pharmaceutical Services, LLC, Basking Ridge, NJ, September 2007.
  • "Compliance in the Pharmaceutical Industry - A Moving Target," ExL Pharma - Second Annual Pharmaceutical Sampling Strategies, Princeton, NJ, September 2006.
  • "Introduction to HIPAA," Shands Healthcare REHAB 2001 Conference, Gainesville, FL, April 2001.



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Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts, 2003
  • New York, 1997


Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, NY, J.D., 1996

University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, B.A., cum laude, Political Science and Women's Studies, 1993

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Phone: 508.948.0488

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