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April 4, 2006

Health Care Forum Examines Medicare Modernization Act

The Health Care Industry Association (HCIA) hosted its second annual spring conference on March 31, bringing policy experts, professionals and students together to discuss critical issues in the industry.


The Health Care Industry Association (HCIA) hosted its second annual spring conference on March 31, bringing policy experts, professionals and students together to discuss critical issues in the industry, including the Medicare Modernization Act and its influence on pharmaceuticals marketing.

The conference, “Health Care Industry Outlook: Trends and Challenges in 2006,” featured speakers from across the health care spectrum: executives and marketing consultants from pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, medical doctors and Dr. Sherry Glied, chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management at Columbia’s School of Public Health.

Angela Rossetti ’80, the first of two keynote speakers and president of Ogilvy Healthworld, one of the largest marketing communications networks in the world, spoke about the need to educate consumers in an increasingly fragmented health care system.

“The pharmaceutical industry, which has a public perception that may be at an all-time low, has a unique opportunity to change society’s health for the better,” said Rossetti. “If marketing is done responsibly, it can be about education and public health as well as promotion.”

Pharmaceutical sales and marketing will become increasingly regulated, said Morris Lewis, a marketing director at Pfizer Inc. and a speaker in a panel discussion on the impact of the Medicare Modernization Act.

Panelists said the health care system has never been more complex. “This bill is the single biggest driver that will change health care in the next 10 years,” said William Testerman, a consultant with Ernst & Young. “The legislation lays out a framework for price controls that pharmaceuticals will fight against to protect innovation.”

“This is a more collaborative world that requires ethical leadership,” said Jack Bailey, a vice president at Eli Lilly and Company. “Despite the lashings we take from the media, the pharmaceutical industry is still an incredibly noble industry.”