Health / Medicine / Pharmaceutical Negotiation Role-Play:

Teflex Products

Lawrence Susskind and James Lawrence
Five-party, multi-issue negotiation among representatives of a pharmaceutical company, a medical drug manufacturer, and three consumer organizations over the delayed release of a new drug

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Free review copies of non-English Teacher’s Packages will be emailed upon request. Please contact tnrc@law.harvard.edu  or telephone 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.)

SCENARIO:

Midland Pharmaceutical Company has developed Renaid, a breakthrough drug that moderates kidney damage due to high blood pressure. In order to make Renaid profitable, a product called Teflex (recently patented by Teflex Products) must be added to allow for a timed-release in the body. Teflex Products and Midland have made a deal giving Midland rights to purchase Teflex, but Teflex Products is ten months late in delivering the first order of Teflex to Midland. This has angered and inconvenienced Midland since Midland has already announced Renaid’s availability to the public. The public is outraged at the delay of the drug due to an apparent monetary dispute between two pharmaceutical companies.

Only Teflex Products knows of the real reason for the delay. In response to Midland’s first order last year, Teflex Products produced a $2.5 million batch of Teflex. Before Teflex Products could deliver the batch to Midland, it received a letter from a disgruntled former mixing room employee, alleging that the Teflex batch had been improperly mixed. Teflex Products has been unable to verify the former employee’s allegations. If the allegations are true, then some Renaid consumers could die, and Teflex Products would be sued and likely go out of business. However, if Teflex Products reveals the possibility of improper mixing to Midland, then Midland might refuse the entire batch of Teflex — causing terrible cash flow, investment, and public relations problems, and possibly causing Teflex Products to go out of business anyway.

The National Science Institute has called a meeting to discuss the Renaid situation. Attending will be the President of Midland Pharmaceutical and his attorney, the chief scientist at Teflex, a representative of the Hypertension Association of America, a representative of Consumer Rights Now! and a representative from the National Consumer Health Council.

 

MECHANICS:

The participants will have 20-30 minutes to prepare for the meeting. The consumer representatives may caucus separately. The main meeting will not last more than 40 minutes. Discussion of the meetings should take about 30-60 minutes.

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • This simulation teacher about the basic mutual gains strategy for dealing with an angry public
  • Inventing options before committing to them is critical to achieving mutually beneficial outcomes. Unfettered “brainstorming” often yields creative and surprising solutions.
  • Preparation is a major theme of this exercise. Issues to consider in preparation include: What is your BATNA? What is theirs? What are their major interests likely to be? What are yours? What do their choices look like now? How, realistically, could we change these? How do we make it as easy as possible for them to do what we want, and hard for them to do otherwise? How do we best communicate all of this? What yesable propositions do we have for them?
  • Parties that reveal their true interests do not necessarily do better than those who remain silent or bluff. This game illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of revealing all of one’s concerns. Outside interests can add considerable pressure to the parties. Outcomes will depends on the balance between competitive and cooperative behavior chosen by the parties.
  • One of the parties in this case has good reasons not to tell the truth. How they handle this provides an excellent opportunity to discuss the ethics of misrepresentation.

 

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

This simulation is part of the curriculum for ‘Dealing with an Angry Public’ – see Susskind, Field et. al. / Free Press 1995.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

For all parties:

  • General Instructions

 

Role specific:

Confidential Instructions for the:

  • Chief Scientist at Teflex
  • Lawyer for Midland Pharmaceutical Company
  • President of Midland Pharmaceutical Company
  • Representative for Consumer Rights Now!
  • Representative for Hypertension Association of America
  • Representative for National Consumers Health Council

 

Teacher’s Package:

  • All of the above
  • Teaching note

 

KEYWORDS/ THEMES:

Agenda control; Angry public; Authority; BATNA; Bluffing; Caucusing; Competition v. Cooperation; Consensus building; indemnity-consumer negotiation; Information exchange; Joint gain; Lying; Multi-party negotiation; Options generating; Pharmaceutical negotiation; Preparation

Negotiation Pedagogy Video Series, Part II
This unscripted video, available separately, shows PON Vice-Chair of Education Lawrence Susskind running and debriefing the “Teflex” exercise, interspersed with excerpts from a post-workshop interview with the instructor.
Order the video here.

 

Teflex Products Attributes

Time required:
2-3 hours
Number of participants:
6
Teams involved:
Yes
Agent present:
Lawyer, Non-lawyer
Neutral third party present:
None
Scoreable:
No
Teaching notes available:
Yes
Non-English version available:
Spanish
PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You are then permitted to view the document on your computer and either print the number of copies you purchased, or forward the electronic file as many times as the number of copies you purchased. You will only receive a link to one electronic file per document. So, if you order 25 soft copies, you may either forward copies of the link to 25 people via e-mail, or print (and/or photocopy) 25 hard copies of the document.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

The purchase price and handling fee are the same for both soft and hard copies. Soft copies do not entail a shipping fee.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, then you should order a single Teacher’s Package for that role simulation. A PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package is also available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. There is no need to order participant materials as well as a Teacher’s Package, as all Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters. Please note that the materials in Teacher’s Packages are for the instructor’s review and reference only, and may not be duplicated for use with participants.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

If you wish to order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Participant Copies.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required; the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Participant Copies.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.