Health care as we know it exists because of a long line of women scientists, health care professionals and executives. Women have always played a strong role in the generics and biosimilars industry, the story of which would not be possible without the leadership of:
- Agnes Varis (1930-2011), one of the founders of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, now the Association for Accessible Medicines
- Entrepreneur Jean Hoffman, who developed a strategy for supplying quality active pharmaceutical ingredients for the U.S. generic drug industry during its early years.
- Carole Ben-Maimon, who championed biosimilars in Congress, telling the House Energy & Commerce Committee in 2004,
Congress must begin now the process of creating a regulatory pathway so that multiple companies can manufacture cost-effective, competing versions of biologics, which will save patients billions of dollars.
This tradition continues today. Our recent Access! conference featured a number of women leaders, including Jacqueline Corrigan-Curay, Principal Deputy Center Director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA; Purva Rawal, Chief Strategy Officer, CMS Innovation Center at Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Vinita Gupta, CEO, Lupin Limited; Keren Haruvi, President, Sandoz US and Head of North America, Sandoz, Inc.; and our own Christine Simmon, Executive Vice President, Policy and Strategic Alliances and Executive Director, Biosimilars Council.
At the Women in Health Policy (WiHP) Leadership Luncheon held during Access! moderator Frances Zipp, President and CEO, Lachman Consultants, emphasized the importance of ensuring equity for all—not just women.
This is about recognizing and encouraging talent, she said,
focusing on support and development, and ensuring that inclusion is always part of our mindset and drives our actions.
Be open to new and different opportunities, urged Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy CEO Susan Cantrell, mentioning her career shift to
specialty pharmacy, before anyone knew what that was.
Asked about the secret to female leadership, Keren Haruvi, President, Sandoz US and Head of North America, Sandoz, Inc., boiled it down to three words: trust, engagement and feedback.
People see what you say you’re going to do is actually what you’re going to do, she said.
They know what you think. And get and give feedback: It helps people progress.
Elizabeth Goodman, Executive Vice President, Government Affairs and Innovation, AHIP, noted that in her experience, successful women observe strengths in the people they admire (women or men) and incorporate the attributes they see into their own toolkit. All of the panelists recognized the importance of mentorship to cultivating female leadership.
This Women’s History Month, AAM honors the leadership and dedication of women—yesterday, today and tomorrow.
By Joanne Duncan, AAM Chief Operating Officer
Published on March 7, 2022