Access! 2021, the annual meeting of the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM), took place May 26 and 27, bringing together health care and industry leaders from around the country and around the world. The virtual conference convened amidst a background of continued progress in the United States against the COVID-19 pandemic, and some global setbacks and challenges.
AAM Board Chair Alok Sonig, CEO, US Generics and Global Head, Generics R&D and Biosimilars of Lupin, Inc., delivered the opening remarks on day one of the conference.
At one of the darkest times in our nation’s history, he stated,
we are grateful that our medicines played such an important role as powerful ammunition on the front lines of the war against COVID-19.
WATCH: At #Access2021, AAM Board Chair @AlokSinog highlighted a CMS proposal that would update the Part D program, calling it "an important first step to support adoption of #biosimilars." pic.twitter.com/xIR4TBD543— Biosimilars Council (@BiosimsCouncil) May 28, 2021
AAM CEO Dan Leonard presented the Champions of Access Award to the Black Women’s Health Imperative, which has promoted equity for Black girls and women for nearly 40 years. Upon accepting the award, Linda Goler Blount, MPH, the organization’s president and CEO, said she was
proud to partner with AAM so that Black women and their families understand the benefit of generic drugs and have access to lower-cost options that could save their lives. Blount underscored the urgency of expanding access to medicines in communities that have historically been disconnected from the health care resources needed to stay well. The pandemic, she said, reinforced the importance of health equity for all.
.@lindagblount @blkwomenshealth: “Last year, the #COVID19 pandemic made clear, in stark relief, the extent of health disparities and how closely they’re tied to economic outcomes..." (1/2)https://t.co/zrSumdig0q #Access2021 pic.twitter.com/MlCQ6FFUCN— AAM (@AccessibleMeds) May 26, 2021
Dr. Janet Woodcock, Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, delivered the keynote address.
I’m extremely proud of the work that FDA has done in response to the pandemic, she said,
but I’m also very grateful for the continuing efforts of AAM and the many individual companies in the U.S. generic and biosimilars industry who’ve worked to find solutions to the continuing public health challenges. Dr. Woodcock expressed support for the progress that biosimilars have made in the U.S. and underscored the value proposition of our industry:
Quite simply, a groundbreaking treatment doesn’t mean as much to the patient who can’t afford or access it.
Download the Voices of Access report—and add your voice
Day one continued with two panel discussions on the global pharmaceutical supply chain, featuring industry and policy experts. Vinita Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, Lupin Limited, stated,
On a fundamental level, supply chain security means having the medicine you need, when you need it. From my perspective, the United States supply chain has been secure for the better part of its existence.
Nevertheless, political support for expanded domestic manufacturing capacity continues. Ian Watson, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Strategy, Policy, Planning and Requirements, U.S. Department Health and Human Services, observed,
This is not something the U.S. government can wholesale afford to run. This is not something industry can do by themselves. This is truly a public-private partnership, along with our partners overseas.
Save the date for Access! 2022, where we will meet in person in sunny Orlando, Florida!
By Erica Klinger, AAM Marketing Director
Published on June 3, 2021