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Awards Sanofi-Aventis Receives HBA’s ACE Award The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) has named Sanofi-Aventis US as the winner of the 2010 HBA ACE Award. The Sanofi-Aventis US program, WISE (Women Inspiring Sanofi-Aventis Excellence), is an internal women’s network with more than 1,000 members that fosters the personal and professional leadership development of women working for the company. WISE-sponsored programs target a wide audience across different functions, locations, genders, and levels in the company. “WISE is a high-touch, high-demand women’s network that fosters the engagement and leadership development of Sanofi-Aventis women, ultimately contributing to the greater success of the individual and the organization,” says Judy O’Hagan, VP of human resources. The ACE Award recognizes a company’s dedication to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women to senior roles within their respective organization. Physician Gifts Doctors view gifts as rewards for career sacrifices A recent study from Carnegie Mellon University finds pharmaceutical companies continue to reward doctors for prescribing their drugs with gifts ranging from pens and paper to free dinners and trips. The authors of the research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, refer to these as “barely described bribes” and believe physicians rationalize acceptance of these gifts as a form of reward for the sacrifices they made obtaining their education. Three hundred and one pediatric and family medicine residents answered a series of questions that asked about the acceptability of receiving different types of gifts from pharmaceutical companies. Before completing the survey, however, one group of doctors was first asked about the sacrifices they had made in getting their medical education. A second group also was first asked these sacrifice questions and then was asked whether such sacrifices could potentially justify acceptance of gifts (a rationalization that explicitly introduces the idea that this might be the case) before filling out the gift acceptability questions. The survey found that reminding physicians first of their medical training burdens more than doubled their willingness to accept gifts — from 21.7% to 47.5% — and suggested the potential rationalization further increased their willingness to accept the gifts — to 60.3%. Medicare Part D Closing the Donut Hole More than 1 million Medicare beneficiaries have received prescription drug cost relief through the Affordable Care Act, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As part of the health insurance reform law’s step-by-step efforts to close the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap, eligible beneficiaries who fall in this “donut hole” this year are mailed a one-time, tax-free $250 rebate check. More than a quarter of the 4 million checks Medicare expects to distribute have been received by eligible Medicare beneficiaries. Next year, those who fall into the donut hole will receive a 50% discount on covered brand-name medications while in the donut hole. Every year, the amount Medicare beneficiaries pay in cost sharing will decrease markedly until the coverage gap is closed. Regulations FDA Launches Performance Measurement The FDA has launched a new organizational performance management system to monitor accountability, transparency and to support the Open Government Initiative. The system, called FDA-TRACK, will monitor more than 100 FDA program offices through data from key performance measures established each year. That data will be gathered monthly, analyzed and presented each quarter to FDA senior leadership. The system monitors performance indicators in four categories: common measures, key center director measures, program measures, and key projects. Tuning in… Featured Podcasts Emerging Markets — Bundling of Blinding, Analytical Testing, Packaging, and Distribution Services for Comparative Studies Featured Thought Leaders: Astrid Frank and Dr. Philippe Muller, Fisher Clinical Services Moving Medical Affairs to the Cloud Proves to be a Very Down-to-Earth Strategy for AstraZeneca Featured Thought Leaders: John Pelkowski and Kevin Krause, AstraZeneca Featured White Papers The Critical Link: Patient-Pharmacist Interaction Is the Pathway to Improved Health Care in the U.S., sponsored by Jobson MSL Training: Top 10 Considerations, sponsored by Snowfish Featured Webseminars Pharma Case Study: Driving Business Performance with Customer Experience Solutions, sponsored by Angel Inc.