Prescription Drug Costs: Can Increased Competition Restrain Prices?

Sameer Awsare, M.D., is an associate executive director for The Permanente Medical Group in charge of Pharmacy, Adult and Family Medicine, Risk Adjusted Coding, Revenue Cycle, Outside Medical Services and the Opioid Initiative. Dr. Awsare joined the Permanente Medical Group in 1993. In addition to his clinical responsibilities, he has served in a number of other roles. He is involved in resident teaching and was the Chair of the Hospital Ethics Committee. He has also been involved in Medicare coding and compliance at the medical center level. He was the Chief of medicine at our Campbell facility. He had been a member of TPMG Board of Directors from 1997-2014, and served as its secretary from 2000 to 2006. He also served as Chair of the board’s Governance Committee and the Vice Chair of the board from 2006 – 2014. He is currently the Secretary and Chair of the Governance Committee of the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group Board. Dr. Awsare is board certified in Internal Medicine. He received his B.S. in Biology, and his M.D. from the University of California, Irvine. He has served on the voluntary clinical faculty at the Stanford University of School of Medicine. Dr. Awsare is a fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Dora Hughes, M.D., MPH, is a senior policy advisor in Sidley Austin’s Government Strategies practice. She provides strategic advice to clients across a wide range of issues relating to coverage, health care quality and innovation, and payment policy and reimbursement. In addition, Dr. Hughes counsels clients on policy issues related to regulatory and approval processes for medical products, health information technology and data analytics, and population health. Dr. Hughes joined Sidley after serving nearly four years as counselor to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to this role, she staffed the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy as deputy director for the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions and former Senator Barack Obama as health policy advisor. In addition, Dora has served as a senior program officer at the Commonwealth Fund. Dr. Hughes earned her M.D. from Vanderbilt University and MPH from Harvard University. She completed an internal medicine residency at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Robert Langreth has been a senior health reporter for Bloomberg News since March 2011, where he has covered everything from soaring drug prices, to cancer research, difficulties in genetic testing, and complications of robotic surgery. Before that he was a senior editor for Forbes for 11 years, where he wrote more than a dozen cover stories. Before Forbes, Mr. Langreth covered the drug industry at The Wall Street Journal for five years and was an associate editor for Popular Science. He has won the Evert Clark Award, the NASW Science in Society Award, was a co-winner of the George Polk Award, and won the Association of Health Care Journalists Award in 2014 for his drug pricing coverage. While not parsing pharmaceutical research, Mr. Langreth enjoys playing tennis and spending time and two school-age kids. He is the only one in his family who is not a redhead.


Mary Ella Payne, R.N., MSPH, is the acting president and chief executive officer at the Alliance for Health Policy. Previously, Ms. Payne was senior vice president for Ascension, the nation’s largest not for profit health care system. Ms. Payne led Ascension’s system-wide advocacy strategy with special attention to persons living in poverty and the vulnerable. Prior to working for Ascension, Mary Ella was a health care advisor for a senior member of the Finance Committee for 10 years and helped craft the legislation creating the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Ms. Payne has a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Science in nursing with honors from the University of Louisville.