Fireside Chat with Mark Cuban, Founder, Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company and moderator AAM board chair Christine Baeder SVP, COO for US Generics, Teva Pharmaceuticals

A Look Back at Access! 2023

Each year, we look forward to hosting our members, friends, colleagues and partners for Access!, AAM’s annual meeting. Held in Orlando, Florida, this year’s conference was unique in that we also hosted the 25th Annual Meeting of the International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (IGBA) in the same location, a dual experience that helped to strengthen global cooperation in our shared effort to expand patient access to more affordable generic and biosimilar medicines.

To kick-off the conference, our Interim CEO David Gaugh, RPh, spoke to a packed house about the opportunities that lie before us and the importance of industry cooperation to achieve our goals. He then presented the annual Champion of Access Award to the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) in recognition of their tireless efforts to engage medical professionals about the benefits of generic and biosimilar medicines. APhA’s Interim CEO, Ilisa Bernstein, PharmD, JD, FAPHa, accepted the award, thanking industry leaders for their work to reduce drug prices and urging further cooperation across medical disciplines.

Following the Champion of Access Award, Dr. Jacqueline Corrigan-Curay, JD, MD, Principal Deputy Center Director at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, gave an update on the agency’s efforts to improve efficiencies in the approval process and ensure the drug supply chain is safe and strong. Immediately after, attendees heard a presentation from Cynthia Meiners, SVP and Strategic Program Development Officer at GoodRx, about integrated savings and how to maximize benefits for patients.

Next up, we were pleased to welcome entrepreneur and founder of the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company, Mark Cuban, to the stage. He spoke with AAM’s Board Chair and Teva SVP and COO for US Generics, Christine Baeder, about his company’s work to disrupt the brand-name pharmaceutical market and deliver more affordable generics and biosimilars to patients more efficiently. Cuban thanked generics industry leaders for their role in reducing drug costs, saying: “You guys make such a huge difference that you don't get credit for.”

A prominent area of focus at Access! 2023 was the rapidly evolving generic drug channel and the challenges and opportunities it presents for generic drug manufacturers. Melissa Andel, MPP, Principal at CommonHealth Solutions, hosted a panel to break it all down featuring Greg Baker, Co-Founder and CEO of EmsanaRx, Sarah Butler, Founder of Rimrock Health LLC, and Ryan Clements, Managing Director of Life Sciences at KPMG.

Over lunch, former Biosimilars Council Executive Director and current President and CEO of the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI), Christine Simmon, hosted the Women in Health Policy Healthcare Leadership (WiHP) Panel, featuring Ilisa Bernstein of APhA, Jacqueline Corrigan-Curay from the FDA, and Maryll Toufanian, JD, SVP of Regulatory Strategy and Policy at Amneal Pharmaceuticals. In a candid, wide-ranging conversation, they spoke about the significant role that women play in advancing healthcare solutions, the challenges they have faced, and offered valuable advice for the next generation of women leaders.

Doug Long, VP of Industry Relations at IQVIA, took the stage to give his much-anticipated, data-driven insights into important trends and the overall outlook of the generics and biosimilars industries. After that, John Brooks, JD, Partner at South Capitol, hosted “Growth and Uncertainty for the Biosimilars Market” to discuss the impressive expansion of the biosimilars market and the issues it is facing as pharmacy benefit managers and health plans use rebates and other perverse tactics to stymie uptake. Joining him on stage were Michelle Holm, PharmD, MPH, Senior Pharmacist Contract Portfolio Manager and Assistant Professor at the Mayo Clinic, Michael Kleinrock, Research Director at the IQVIA Institute, and Brenda Motheral, RPh, MBA, PhD, CEO at Archimedes

To start the next day, outgoing AAM Board Chair Chirag Patel, President and Co-CEO of Amneal, gave a frank assessment about the reputational challenges facing the generics industry, while urging further cooperation to strengthen our positioning. He then welcomed Christine Baeder back to the stage for her first speech as AAM’s newly elected Board Chair. She expressed optimism that generic manufacturers can overcome challenges by coming together, as they did at Access!. After that, Luciano Calenti, Founder and CEO of ACIC Pharmaceuticals, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong mission to deliver safe and affordable medicines for patients.

Later, Balaji Prasad, MD, Director at Barclays Investment Bank, hosted top CEOs of generic drug manufacturers for an inside look at the decisions generics industry leaders face. Joining the panel were Keren Haruvi, President of Sandoz US and Head of Sandoz North America, Marc Kikuchi, CEO of North America Generics at Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Christine Baeder, and Chirag Patel.

One of the lesser-known upsides to an abundant drug supply chain is the opportunity to contribute to humanitarian efforts. From the war in Ukraine to the floods in Pakistan, generic and biosimilars manufacturers have stepped up to support philanthropic efforts across the globe through medicine donations. To shed more light on these industry initiatives, AAM’s VP of Membership and Operations, Jewel Smith, hosted the “Philanthropy in Medicine” panel, featuring Darnelle Bernier, VP of the Medical Donations Program at CMMB, Kevin Fortier, Chief Commercial Officer at Jubilant Cadista Pharmaceuticals, Jeff Hampton, President of Accord Healthcare, Chris Palombo, MA, MSHM, FACHE, CEO of Dispensary of Hope, Carol Richardson, Head of ESG, North America, at Teva, and Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief.

To wrap up Access! 2023, Martin Lindstrom, Founder and Chairman of the Lindstrom Company, Rose Cameron, Partner at the Lindstrom Company, Kelley Dougherty, VP of North America Brand and Communications at Teva, Maryll Toufanian, JD, SVP of Regulatory Strategy and Policy at Amneal, and Erica Klinger, AAM’s Senior Director of Marketing, spoke about how the generics industry can strengthen its brand reputation and build trust among patients.

Their presentations led up to, an announcement of the launch of the #4GRxANTED campaign, an industry-wide effort to remind everyone across the nation not to take the generic medicines they rely on daily – and the savings they enjoy – for granted. This campaign will facilitate the donations of doses of generic medicines to communities in need across America through the nonprofit Direct Relief. For this effort, people are asked to record a short testimonial video sharing what they take for granted in their lives, or simply like and share other videos; and in response AAM members will donate medicines to patients through Direct Relief’s distribution network.

Tell Us What you Take #4GRxANTED

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Erica Klinger—Senior Director, Marketing

By Erica Klinger, Senior Director, Marketing
Published on February 24, 2023


Association for Accessible Medicines


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