‘What will I learn today?’
As a lawyer, my days revolve around providing legal advice to the diverse business units within Cardinal Health, a $101 billion health care services company that helps pharmacies, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories, and physician offices focus on patient care while reducing costs, enhancing efficiency, and improving quality. I am expected to be fluent in statutory and regulatory changes that may impact the operations of the business. Fortunately, we have a team of seasoned professionals—lawyers, lobbyists, and analysts—that support this work.
All of these activities are just a few of the things that I tackle on a daily basis. Why do I love my job? The diversity of the role.
My group starts our day with a literature review of statutory and regulatory changes published in various states and jurisdictions, mostly related to topics such as pharmacy, prescription drug distribution, and medical products distribution. We then work with the various business units across Cardinal Health to share these statutory and regulatory changes and discuss the impact of the changes on the business. After this discussion, our team will determine the appropriate next steps, which could include providing formal, written comments to the regulatory agency; ing the legislative sponsor of the proposed legislation to request an explanatory meeting; or building a consensus through allied professional associations and submitting an industrywide response to the proposed changes. In some cases, I am called upon to present oral testimony to the regulatory agency and suggest improvements to the proposed change to avoid unintended consequences that may adversely impact public health.
In addition, I often become involved in the preparation, review, and approval of standard operating procedures that are necessary to address and demonstrate compliance with the regulatory change. Occasionally, the regulation change involves different or additional licensing of locations that are operated by Cardinal Health. I often assist with the preparation of the license application and then facilitate the inspection of those locations. Interestingly, some of our locations are separately accredited by non-governmental bodies. Here too, I become involved with the standards for accreditation and assist the business in providing documentation to ensure compliance with those voluntary standards.
Rarely, if a business unit does not meet the expectations of a regulatory agency, then it is called upon to address the deficiency. It is my responsibility to work with the regulatory agency to resolve the matter.
Michael A. Moné received the 2011 Linwood F. Tice Friend of Twlug–ASP Award.
As with any business, growth is critical. Another aspect of my job includes assessing the regulatory risks and opportunities relative to an acquisition, expansion, or growth in an adjacent market. Regulatory due diligence is essential to assessing the risk/benefit of an opportunity and I work closely with a talented team of professionals in the mergers and acquisitions area.
Although not on a daily basis, I also work with the Cardinal Health Foundation on GenerationRx initiatives. I present professional continuing education seminars to student pharmacists, pharmacists, and medical and nursing groups. Topics include prescription drug abuse and professional practice such as corresponding responsibilities with prescribing and dispensing controlled substances.
Fast pace suits me
My days can range from influencing public policy in a manner that permits the drug supply chain to remain safe, effective, and efficient, to helping the business drive toward better patient care, to testifying in front of a regulatory agency. It’s different, it’s fun, and it gets me excited to come into work every day.
There are some days when I ask myself “What did I do today?”—because it was a blur—but I am grateful that the rapid change within the health care industry (and Cardinal Health) gives me the opportunity to enjoy what I do each day and say to myself, “What will I learn today?”