Some critics of health care reform are skeptical that it will force the health care industry to change its behavior. But at least one informed source is saying otherwise. The source is the world's most famous consulting firm, McKinsey and Company. As I report in this week's print edition, over the summer McKinsey prepared an internal document assesing the impact of reform on different sectors in the health care industry. The document is a powerpoint presentation, addressed to "Client X," and appears to be a template that the firm's consultants can customize for different clients.
Critics have complained that a drug industry got a sweetheart deal when it struck a bargain with the White House and Senate Finance Committee over health care reform. There’s new reason to think those critics were right. It comes from an October forecast by IMS Health, a respected global research and consulting firm. The report, which IMS distributed to clients and which a source provided, projects that the drug industry will see average annual growth of 3.5 percent between 2008 and 2013. Back in March, IMS had projected no growth at all during that same five-year stretch.
For years Dr. Peter Klementowicz suspected that pharmaceutical sales representatives knew more about the prescriptions he was writing than they let on. Klementowicz, a cardiologist in Nashua, New Hampshire, would occasionally hear curious statements from drug reps, such as, “you’re one of my targets.” His suspicion peaked when a friend told him she overheard a group of reps at a local Panera Bread discussing ways to induce Klementowicz to prescribe their drugs. How did they know he wasn’t already prescribing their drugs?