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
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.