Access! 2022: Recapping AAM’s Annual Meeting

Access is literally our middle name, CEO Dan Leonard reminded attendees at Access! 2022, the Association for Accessible Medicine’s first in-person conference in two years. The two-day event in Orlando, Fla., brought together a range of leaders from government and industry to discuss the challenges, responsibilities and future of generics and biosimilars.

In his remarks opening the meeting, Dan welcomed two patients whose access to generics and biosimilars has made all the difference to their health. Akaimi, of Texas, and Rich, of Maryland, were featured in last year's inaugural Voices of Access report. This year's report was shared at Access! 2022.

Addressing the “Sustainability of the U.S. Generic Model” panel, Founder and CEO of Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company Alex Oshmyansky M.D., PhD, stated:

If you look for good actors in the health care system, the generic manufacturers are right there: Ninety percent of scripts written in the United States are for generic scripts, untold millions of numbers of lives are saved by the generics industry at very affordable prices, so from a financial perspective, from a humanistic perspective—it’s hard to see a better, more effective part of the health care system as a whole. The focus is how to make things better for the generic manufacturers to keep being able to do what they're already doing, and growing and getting the compensation they deserve.

Alok Sonig, CEO, US Generics, Global Head Generics R&D & Biosimilars, Lupin Inc., reviewed his 30 months as AAM Board of Directors Chair: We showed the nation, and we showed the world, that as an industry we are resilient, compassionate and committed to deliver medicines to patients in need…. We kept our promise to our patients.

Sonig continued: The competition that our industry provides is the only proven solution to the problem, but too many policymakers do not fully understand the challenges that we face or the market structure of our industry, and that’s were the association comes in.

AAM Board of Directors incoming Chair Chirag Patel, Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Co-Founder, President and Co-Chief Executive Officer, relayed his personal story as the son and brother of pharmacists: Growing up, we saw many families struggle to make ends meet. My father taught me that nobody should have to choose between feeding their family and accessing the medicine they need.

Access is not only our middle name, it’s our mission. AAM CEO Dan Leonard presented this year’s Champions of Access award to the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP), whose CEO, Susan Cantrell, accepted the award on behalf of her organization. She described AMCP’s commitment to patient access to the medicines they need at a cost they can afford. This objective is realized, she said, through cost-effective options like generics and biosimilars and called for a system that rewards and incentivizes both value innovation and innovation. With a “watershed moment” for biosimilars approaching in 2023, Cantrell highlighted the work of the Biologics and Biosimilars Collective Intelligence Consortium (BBCIC) to conduct rigorous research and provide real-world evidence of biosimilars’ safety and effectiveness.

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More highlights from Access! 2022:

  • AAM’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to Joe Renner, Chairman, Zydus Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.

  • Dan Leonard moderated ”CEOs Unplugged” with Sven Dethlefs, PhD,Executive Vice President, North America Commercial, Teva; Vinita Gupta, CEO, Lupin Limited; Chirag Patel, President and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Amneal Pharmaceuticals; and Richard Saynor, CEO, Sandoz.

  • Frances Zipp, President and CEO, Lachman Consultants moderated the Women in Health Policy (WiHP) Leadership Luncheon. Panelists Susan Cantrell, CEO, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy; Elizabeth Goodman, Executive Vice President, Government Affairs and Innovation, AHIP; and Keren Haruvi, President, Sandoz US and Head of North America, Sandoz, Inc., shared stories and lessons learned from their climb to the top. To support professional advancement, WiHP made a contribution to Dress for Success of SW Florida. 
  • In the panel ”Leveraging Biosimilar Competition for Success” moderator Christine Simmon, AAM Executive Vice President, Policy and Strategic Alliances, and Executive Director, Biosimilars Council discussed how stakeholders leverage biosimilar competition today, and the threats and opportunities on the horizon with panelists Steven Allison, PharmD, Vice President of Pharmacy, AdventHealth Corporate; Martin Ares, Vice President, Biosimilars and Specialty, Sandoz; Bret Jackson, President, Economic Alliance for Michigan; and Steve Miller, M.D., Chief Clinical Officer, Cigna.

  • AAM Vice President, Trade, International Relations and Strategic Initiatives Jonathan Kimball moderated “The Generic Pharmaceutical Supply Chain: Two Years into the Pandemic” with Hem Pandya, Senior Vice President, Head of Generic Product Division, Mayne Pharma; Anthony Sardella, Senior Research Advisor, Center for Analytics and Business Insights, Washington University; and Alok Sonig, CEO, US Generics, Global Head Generics R&D & Biosimilars, Lupin Inc.

Thank you to all the attendees and participants for making Access! 2022 a success. Join us next at GRx+Biosims 2022, November 7-9, in Bethesda, MD.


Aquera Agee, Manager, Meetings

By Aquera Agee, Manager, Meetings
Published on February 23, 2022

Association for Accessible Medicines


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