Are We Aligned Yet? A Medicare Part D Roundtable - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Are We Aligned Yet? A Medicare Part D Roundtable


Pharmaceutical Executive


METRO: People have been doing their best to try to keep the program and contracts on the up and up. But the fact remains that we are talking about a program that is a couple years ahead of where the OIG is in terms of providing guidance.

CLINTON: What should pharma be looking at going forward?

LONG: I think you want to be a participant—and a leading participant—instead of hanging behind.

ZANT: And you want to go beyond handling the transaction and calculating the data and move into supporting the program and advocating changes.

ZOCCHI: Companies have been very reactive—"We have to respond to this, we have a deadline; let's try to put it together." But though the deadlines are still there, companies need to prepare themselves to deal with a new reality. Companies should ask, "Am I open to re-examining how I do my business, how I do my process? Should I rethink how I plan and price and establish my sales organization and my relationship position?" If companies can allocate the bandwidth to looking at business processes along with preparing for the program, I think they will benefit in the long term, maybe the short term as well.

WINTERTON: As a benefit, Part D is not the best benefit, by any stretch of the imagination. And there aren't a lot of controls built into the legislation. It's more of a free-market system. Manufacturers have a huge opportunity to step up to the plate and make it successful, but also there is a big potential downside. Any mistakes in judgment companies make are going to be magnified as part of the Part D program.

METRO: Let's not lose sight of the political dynamic—the demonization of the industry in terms of price. If Part D doesn't address that, there is no reason to think that wouldn't pick up again.

WINTERTON: That's the specter that's hanging out there.


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