What’s Next for “Obamacare”?

Man with piggy bank

By DJ Edgerton (@wiltonbound)

Is anybody making money in healthcare?

That’s the question I found myself asking this morning after reading an MM & M article on how the possible repeal of “Obamacare” could have a double whammy affect on the Pharma industry. The gist of the article is that Pharma had agreed to discounts for drugs for federal programs knowing that at least some of those costs would be offset by the addition of 30 million Americans to the ranks of the newly insured. It’s quite possible that the Supreme Court could repeal the ACA but leave those discounts intact, resulting in a huge hit for the Pharma industry.

The potential impact on our industry is huge.

Right now everyone from big drug manufacturers to HCPs to patients themselves are complaining about the cost of the healthcare business. But how much worse would things be for Pharma if they have to absorb $100 billion in costs? Would salesforces become a thing of the past? Would research budgets get slashed? Would patient outreach become an unaffordable luxury?

Or would we have to find ways to overcome? To do things more efficiently and effectively? And maximize the tools we have on hand to achieve the required results.

I’m hoping that the scenario outlined by MM & M never comes to pass. But it provides an interesting starting point for a thought exercise. If your company was suddenly faced with huge hits to the bottom line, what would you change?

Would you replace paper sales materials with digital files to save on printing costs?

Would you find a way to get maximum value out of your sales force using technology? Not just iPads but advanced CRS systems, online communities for HCPs, and more?

Would you find a way to streamline and speed up judicial review? Or clinical trials?

Would you demand that the FDA become more proactive when it comes to social media?

Where would you start?

One of my old mentors was fond of saying “Hope for the best but plan for the worst”.

What’s your plan for dealing with the rising costs of our industry? And are you fully utilizing the digital tools and technologies you currently have?



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