Best price guarantees are a great way to make customers feel good, and they can even contribute to higher prices in some markets, but you have to keep track of them. Nowhere is this more important than in dealings with the government. And nowhere is this harder than in healthcare, with its complex contracts, rebates, and chargebacks that can cloud the true price paid on a given invoice.

Unfortunately, a lot of healthcare dollars go through the government, so it’s critical to have your processes and systems in order to make sure you know that the government is really getting the best price. Wyeth became the latest drug maker accused of offering lower prices than those available to the government, getting a subpoena related to its pricing for Protonix, a heartburn drug with sales of $1.6B last year. The subpoena demands pricing data from 2000 to the present. The problem is much less likely fraud than the sheer complexity of managing end-to-end pricing with a bewildering array of contractual terms, often stored in different systems, or just in spreadsheets on someone’s computer.

The pricing team there is working overtime.

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