The 2015 NCPA legislative game plan
Certain aspects of sporting events are similar to governmental advocacy. In both instances there are winners and losers. While many factors determine the outcome, the victor usually does a better job of executing their game plan. For example, in this year’s Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks a game-saving interception by a Patriots defender was the result of tremendous preparation and effort combined with a play calling misstep by the opponent. Anything less and the Seahawks likely wins the game.
Independent community pharmacies have been engaged in a prolonged, multifaceted battle to continue serving patients despite the interference of giant pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) that administer prescription drug plans. The lack of government oversight enables PBMs to play a one-sided game often at the expense of everyone else, especially community pharmacies. To level the playing field community pharmacies must convince government officials to adopt regulatory or legislative solutions, while the PBMs only have to maintain the status quo.
What’s the best strategy for community pharmacies to achieve their objectives?
First, prioritize. While there are no shortage of challenges, identifying the items of most importance to the membership with the best odds of being changed on the legislative and regulatory “wish list” can ensure they receive more time and resources. Second, offer pro-patient fixes which are based on a simple premise – if you enact fair-minded policies that allow pharmacy small business owners to compete then patients will see their access to quality prescription drug services expand, as oppose to contract.
The National Community Pharmacy Association (NCPA) represents America’s approximately 23,000 community pharmacies and their patients. While we are guided by the NCPA board comprised of pharmacy owners from across the country, NCPA wanted to get insight from a larger pool of our members in helping to set our 2015 priorities.
Consequently, NCPA asked our members to identify their most pressing public policy concerns. The top two issues were achieving more transparent and frequently updated MAC reimbursement benchmark for pharmacies (particularly for multi-source generic prescription drugs that experience sudden, dramatic price spikes but for which it takes PBMs weeks or months to update reimbursement); and incorporating an effective “any willing pharmacy” provision for Medicare Part D’s "preferred pharmacy" plans. These results come just in time for the start of the 114th U.S. Congress’ two-year session.
So far, we are off to a fast start. The recently-introduced H.R. 244, The MAC Transparency Act, would go a long way toward ensuring that PBMs reimburse community pharmacies more equitably for generic drugs. The bill would expand on and codify a requirement Medicare will be implementing for the 2016 plan year at NCPA’s request – that Part D plans update reimbursement benchmarks, such as maximum allowable cost (MAC) every seven days. Also just introduced is H.R. 793, The Ensuring Seniors Access to Local Pharmacies Act, which would implement an “any willing pharmacy” provision to preferred pharmacy networks in medically underserved areas.
We are hopeful these two important priorities can be addressed before the 114th Congress adjourns in late 2016, but it will take a considerable, unified and coordinated effort from NCPA, its members and other pharmacy allies to prevail against the inevitable push-back from PBMs. Let’s make the plays to win our legislative Super Bowl.
Purdue Pharma hires proven deal maker as SVP licensing and business development
STAMFORD, Conn. — Purdue Pharma on Monday announced that Alan Butcher has joined the company as SVP licensing and business development. Butcher will have responsibility for all of Purdue's efforts to acquire or in-license commercial, near-commercial, and development-stage products that would benefit from the company's patient-focused commercial capabilities.
"We're bringing aboard a proven leader," said Purdue president and CEO Mark Timney. "Alan brings valuable new skills and experience to Purdue at a time when business development is a core strategic focus for our firm."
Butcher is an experienced pharmaceutical executive, with multiple high-value deals completed throughout his career. Since 2012, he has been VP business development at Shire Pharmaceuticals. Butcher completed Shire's first ophthalmic product acquisition through the purchase of SARcode Bioscience and he supported, or led, several other transactions including the acquisition of NPS.
Prior to joining Shire, Butcher was VP and general manager of implant drug delivery for Endo Pharmaceuticals. In that role, he was responsible for developing business strategy, P&L management and the development of product candidates and alternative technologies. He joined Endo as VP business and corporate development in 2007, with responsibility for corporate development, as well as acquisition strategy, analysis and execution.
From 2002 to 2007, Butcher was director of worldwide business development transactions at GlaxoSmithKline, where he managed the valuation, negotiation and execution of intellectual property and product licensing deals. He had entered the business development function at Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2000 after holding several positions as a research scientist.
Butcher holds a Bachelor's of Science in Clinical Microbiology and a Master's of Science in Biology with a concentration in Molecular Biology and Genetics from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He also is a graduate of Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management.
Diplomat Pharmacy boosts data security with new chief information security officer appointment
FLINT, Mich. – Diplomat Pharmacy on Thursday announced the addition of Shannon Beltrand to their senior leadership team as chief information security officer. In this role, Beltrand will be responsible for securing and properly monitoring Diplomat's data, systems and facilities to ensure that Diplomat is secure both internally and externally. Additionally, she will play key roles in systems auditing and business continuity planning.
"We are very excited to have someone of Shannon's caliber and experience joining the Diplomat team," stated Jeffrey Rowe, director and EVP operations at Diplomat. "Her expertise in cyber security will allow Diplomat's patients and partners to have confidence that our systems and data are governed for state-of-the-art protection."
Beltrand brings over 20 years of experience in information technology with several years experience in security of information systems and overall security management. Most recently, Beltrand worked as the director of information security and service management at Data Recognition Corporation, leading the company's enterprise information security program and IT service management processes. Prior to that role, Beltrand served as the company's director of software development, director of information services, manager of information services and project manager of information services.
In addition to her extensive experience in technology and data, Beltrand holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Mass., and a master's degree in organizational leadership and technology from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn.
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