Alinea-Group Spotlight Interview: Amar Sharma
Amar is a 340B subject matter expert at Alinea Group, and he is currently based in San Diego, CA. He has served in a multitude of roles including medication compliance, 340B Program administration, pharmacy consulting, patient financial assistance design, and other pharmacy operational and business strategic services.
How long have you been a part of the Alinea-Group?
I’ve been part of the Alinea Group for over 2.5 years now.
What brought you to the company?
I wanted to see the 340B program from a consultant’s point of view. As a consultant, you are constantly asked to solve problems for clients which is both challenging (in a fun way) and provides additional insights and experience with new situations. When one of the partners reached out to me through a mutual acquaintance, I saw this as a great opportunity to grow my skill set and I jumped on the opportunity and haven’t regretted it one bit.
How do you best describe your role?
My role has changed over time from being mostly behind-the-scenes, as an analyst, to getting involved in client-facing work and strategic advisory. Like most people on our team, I am a 340B Subject Matter Expert, but I also have a background in many other areas such as patient financial assistance and pharmacy supply chain management. Consequently, I am involved in most things that Alinea has to offer from a 340B perspective in addition to other Alinea offerings, such as pharmacy operational improvement, which reach more general areas of our client’s pharmacy business and complement our 340B advisory.
What do you enjoy about your work with Alinea?
I think the dynamic nature of the job is what I enjoy the most. One day I could be picking samples for an audit, and the next day I might be doing a savings opportunity analysis or researching state Medicaid guidance for a state. At Alinea, we field all kinds of questions and get to utilize a vast array of skill sets and knowledge that extend beyond 340B into areas such as hospital pricing, charge capture, and reimbursement. Pharmacy optimization is very fun and 340B compliance is a big piece to that puzzle for many of our clients.
Where did you grow up? As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I grew up in a small town in India and immigrated to the US 20 years ago. Growing up in India, most people either want to be cricketers or singers and I was no different. Since I wasn’t very good at cricket, I wanted to be a singer, but of course life completely changed once I moved to the US.
What hobbies or passions keep you grounded?
My biggest passion right now is to get better at chess. Of course, I am still pursuing a singing career while taking a shower. My family also keeps me grounded, it’s amazing to see your own children grow and do things that you never had the opportunity to do.
Favorite books or music?
Other than reading the 340B statute over and over and over again, I haven’t read (books that is) much in my life. In part, I think that is due to time constraints. The first and the last book I read was “The Catcher in The Rye,” and I liked it. I grew up listening to Indian music which I still listen to and enjoy, but I don’t have a favorite genre per se. For me, the words need to have some meaning. My favorite song is, “What a Wonderful World” from Louis Armstrong.