1. Tell us a little about your professional background?
I am trained as a family physician and practiced for about 18 months before I realized full time clinical medicine in a tightly controlled managed care setting wasn’t the best long-term fit for me. Started at a late phase clinical trial center as a sub-investigator, and later as PI when the center director retired – and ran 150+ late phase clinical trials across multiple therapeutic areas in about 5 years with a staff of 20+ coordinators, educators, lab and technical personnel. Loved the multi-disciplinary environment. Started a US site for a European CRO doing high complexity metabolic studies for 2 years before transitioning into industry. Started in Clinical Development and followed my first drug to market, starting and building the Medical Affairs organization. We built late, as an organization that had never taken a product to market, and it became very clear how building earlier would have added much more value and momentum. I’ve enjoyed building from micro companies to small entities and have started or built out medical affairs earlier at every company since then to many great successes.
2. Why did you decide to join the ACMA board?
I truly believe in the value of Medical Affairs, and how the perspective of digging deep on the science and understanding the perspectives of multiple stakeholders really elevates the work we do in this industry. Building an organizational culture that embraces Medical Affairs creates value from early development, regulatory engagements, patient-focus, market access strategy, corporate branding, and employee engagement and retention. Supporting ACMA is an important mission, and as the industry has suffered reputational loss, I think a stronger role for medical affairs internally and externally can continue to raise the bar across the industry.
3. What are 3 predictions you have for the pharmaceutical industry in the next 10 years?
1) The definition of value will evolve even more rapidly – beyond clinical definitions, addressing targeted and individual patient needs, providing payer value, and context within the health care system as a whole.
2) Incorporation of technology to increase efficiency and value across discovery, development, regulatory processes, and getting therapies in to the hands of patients.
3) What does it mean to be transformational? We are still in an environment where there are “hot areas” and ignored areas, and there are many unmet medical needs still in need of good science and effective and safe therapies – we need to do better meeting more patients’ needs.
4. What would you tell companies considering to Board Certify their medical affairs organizations?
Investing in Medical Affairs certification is investing in your company as a whole. Often your Medical Affairs experts are the individuals on the front line – they define your reputation for skill, knowledge, and professionalism to your key stakeholders and ultimate customers. They carry your companies brand and the success of your operations in many ways. Arming them with high quality skills and continued professional development means that they can best do their jobs in service of your corporate objectives.
5. What do you enjoy doing (hobbies, etc..) in your spare time?
I am an avid traveler and enjoy exploring new places, cultures, food, and people. Have traveled to more than 100 countries to date, with so much left to see. And I enjoy cooking, live music, pilates and time with friends and family.