UPMC eSample Center


UPMC eSample Center Launch and commitment timelines

Date: October 6, 2008

In February 2008, UPMC in cooperation with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, implemented a comprehensive Industry Relations Policy. Part of this policy requires managing medication samples to promote patient safety in all UPMC-owned physician offices, hospital-based clinics and outpatient pharmacies.

In late June 2008, we advised you that UPMC had adopted an innovative new system, the UPMC eSample Center, for distributing drug samples to its practitioners. The UPMC eSample Center will allow physicians to order available samples, vouchers, and coupons via a Web-based service powered by MedManage Systems, Inc. (“MedManage”). The UPMC eSample Center will become the exclusive mechanism for medication sampling on the UPMC campuses as of April 1, 2009.

We are writing to alert you to the need for your company to finalize a relationship with UPMC and MedManage as soon as possible. We do not want your company’s delayed participation to contribute to restricted access to your samples.

We will launch the UPMC eSample Center on November 3, 2008. Several pharmaceutical companies have already agreed to participate in this exciting program. After the initial launch, there will be an opportunity for additional enrollment in the UPMC eSample Center, as outlined below. However, the chance to be acknowledged as a pharmaceutical industry supporter of innovation by being among the first to publicly share our vision will have passed.

Steps to success: We would like to clearly outline the participation timelines that will enable an orderly rollout and transition period:

  1. We are seeking your declaration of whether your company intends to participate in the eSample Center and to designate the brands that will be offered by no later than November 21, 2008. We believe this is an important and necessary step in order to clarify for our physician customers which samples they can expect to have access to.
  2. To ensure that our physician and patient needs for medication samples are met as soon as practical, we are also asking that your organization begin addressing the necessary contracting and implementation process with MedManage immediately after sharing your decision to participate. This will allow adequate time to set up your products in the eSample Center and prevent a disruption in availability due to the discontinuation of the interim process which currently allows delivery of samples by the representatives.
  3. Again, the UPMC eSample Center will become the exclusive mechanism for medication sampling on the UPMC campuses as of April 1, 2009. Manufacturers who have chosen not to take advantage of the UPMC eSample Center opportunity will no longer be permitted to provide samples to UPMC physicians.

The UPMC eSample Center will allow continued availability of medication samples while minimizing the potential for perceived or real conflicts of interest. The “virtual sample closet” in the UPMC eSample Center gives our physicians Prescription Drug Marketing Act (PDMA)-compliant access to a variety of brands from multiple manufacturers, directly delivering the samples to the clinical practice site from your designated sample fulfillment centers. Development of enhancements based on customer (manufacturer as well as UPMC) experience and feedback will ensure continued satisfaction.

Your company’s participation is vital to our mutual success. On the one hand, it supports our objective to employ a standardized system for the ordering of samples, vouchers and coupons. On the other, continued and consistent access to your brands is better assured by making your products available through the UPMC eSample Center.

You or the appropriate personnel in your company are strongly encouraged to contact UPMC and MedManage (see below) as soon as possible to participate in the UPMC eSample Center. We look forward to hearing from you soon and will be actively pursuing responses.

Thank you in advance for your interest and support,

UPMC Drug Sample Steering Committee

Kelley A. Wasicek, RPh
Project Manager
UPMC eSample Center
200 Lothrop St, Suite G-119
Pittsburgh, Pa 15213

Thomas P. Quinn, RPh
SVP Commercialization
MedManage Systems, Inc.
716-628-5345 (c)
716-662-8433 (o)

Fred A. Cipriani
UPMC eSample Center
H.C. Pharmacy, Inc.
3175 East Carson St
Pittsburgh, Pa 15203