Monthly Archives: January 2020

The Business of Pharmacy Podcast™ hosted by Mike Koelzer and his guest, Dr. Anne Arvizu

Join pharmacist Mike Koelzer and his guest, Dr. Anne Arvizu, for an in-depth, behind-the-scenes podcast on the business of pharmacy.

In this episode, Anne and Mike discuss the different lanes of Medical Affairs, why Medical Affairs is a great career choice and how Medical Affairs is the key driver and the wave of the future!

Anne Arvizu, PharmD, FASCP, PCC, is a global consultant and to Fortune 500 biotech companies, and a successful entrepreneur in Miami, FL. The companies she builds & affiliations she keeps all share a common focus of promoting productivity, health & life balance in the lives of entrepreneurial women executives. In 2002, Anne founded RxER Communications Corp., a management consulting firm partnering with biotech companies that require operational capabilities build within Medical Affairs. Anne is a premier Medical Information expert and sought after keynote speaker that brings 22 years of pharmaceutical medical affairs and operations globalization expertise to the table. For more information, visit our site. In 2018, RxER launched its proprietary executive coaching model and business framework, Corecentryx®, and the Corepreneur® podcast concept was born. ​Anne also gives back to her community, currently serving as Chair of the YMCA Board of Directors in her local area.

Anne reveals her feelings regarding how there is no training that can prepare you for being the expert and that the learning curve went straight up the mountain. Then Mike and Anne discuss, why do pharma companies bring in a consultant? Anne explains it is often a result of a bridge, stop-gap solution, or sometimes a necessity to re-vamp or re-vitalize current operations. Change has occurred or something is coming down the pipeline and the company cannot scale as quickly.  Anne then theorizes how you cannot see the return of value that Medical Affairs offers.

Later, Anne explains her executive coaching model and business framework, Corecentryx® and Corepreneur®, for those who are corporate but entrepreneurial.  The Corecentryx® business growth model: What is the center of all you do? Is that tied into your integrity?  Anne also shares that she is writing a book about the Corepreneur®.

You will enjoy this insightful and genuine conversation.

#V3PODCAST Episode 3: Future Focused Trends in Medical Affairs and Leveraging Technology

Welcome back to the #V3Podcast.

This is The Vision, the Voice & the Value of Medical Affairs.

This month’s guest is Dr. William Soliman. Will is the founder of The ACMA, the first and only global accreditation council for medical affairs professionals, he is also a seasoned media figure and thought leader in the biotech industry, with several years of leadership experience in the Pharma industry under his belt. Will has been instrumental in launching a variety of innovative platforms and expanding the role of medical affairs across the industry. He is often invited to speak at crucial pharmaceutical industry conferences focusing on medical affairs, patient navigation, and its relationship to field-based medical teams, and the ever-changing role of the medical science liaison (MSL). Will has held a variety of critical management roles across the industry at companies such as Retrophin, Veeva Systems, Eisai, and Gilead Sciences.

In this episode, Anne opens the show describing some future focused trends in the medical affairs field. She and Will speak on controversial drug pricing issues – such as, what does the election year mean for the industry from an innovation perspective? There is no doubt that we want to make drugs as affordable for as many people. However, the challenge comes in when a majority of the clinical trials fail. The solution to drug pricing may be thinking about more efficient and effective ways to design clinical trials. Machine learning and AI can come into play for a clinical trial designer. The V3 team discusses here.

Ultimately, whether a device or product is going to work could be determined early on in the research. There is a strong correlation with what is happening in research and how we can make the overall system more efficient and effective.

Medical affairs is a value producer for companies, says Anne So how do we view value? William Soliman says that medical affairs will be taking more of a forefront in big-name companies. Global scientific output doubles every nine years. We need people who are going to be well-trained and formally knowledgeable.

Then, Will Soliman answers questions around the benefit of formalization Board Certification in Medical Affairs, as it brings uniformity within the culture of medical affairs. For example, medical directors entering industry from Academia don’t know how to create a clinical trial. When you go to medical school, you don’t get trained on how to create an adequate trial – there needs to be some uniformity.

Pharmaceutical companies need to rebrand – they have to demonstrate to patient groups that they are putting their money where their mouths are. Companies always say they are going to do things; however, rarely do they follow through. Patient advocates want physicians who are working from the highest standards.

“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”

In this Episode the team discussed the following topics:

  • About drug pricing [ ~3:55 ]
  • Understanding how to leverage technology [ ~8:15 ]
  • How we can utilize patient input [ ~12:35 ]
  • Medical affairs is a value producer [ ~15:30 ]
  • Board Certification in Medical Affairs [ ~21:45 ]
  • How we can do our job with the highest level of caring [ ~27:50 ]
  • You have to tough it [ ~37:30 ]

Anne’s Favorite Quotes:

  • “The industry can do a better job of leveraging technology to create more efficient clinical trials.” -Dr. William Soliman
  • “The opioid crisis casts a poor light on pharmaceutical companies.” -Dr. William Soliman
  • “When you make a decision based on fear, then you aren’t willing to put your foot down and make the hard decision.” -Dr. William Soliman

Links Mentioned: 

#V3PODCAST Episode 2: Is The Cure For Cancer Around The Corner?

Welcome back to the #V3Podcast.

This is The Vision, the Voice & the Value of Medical Affairs.

On today’s episode, we discuss Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain technology and the future of global Medical Affairs. Is biopharma lagging behind compared to other industries? And what’s the reason? Who is really pushing for change? And how can the C-Suite catch up and catch the wave before it’s too late?

The number one medical affairs podcast tackles new ground in this episode as Biopharma global executive veteran, Dr. Anne Arvizu, interviews Medical Affairs influencer and frontrunner, Dr. Sotirios Stergiopoulos, President & CEO at A2A Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Stergiopoulos is an awarded physician executive and oncology thought leader. He’s also been recipient of the prestigious lifetime achievement award, by the American Cancer Society, for his long-standing dedication to fighting cancer. He serves on the Board of Governors for the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs. Previously, at Ipsen he was Chief Medical Officer, SVP and Head of Global Medical Affairs. Sotirios has held numerous other leadership positions in the pharmaceutical industry with companies including Novartis, Bayer, and Celgene. Dr. Stergiopoulos holds a B.S. from Stony Brook University, an M.D. from Poznan University of Medical Sciences, and an M.B.E.E. from the Johns Hopkins University; and has trained at the National Institutes of Health, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Harvard University.

As the conversation starts, Dr. Stergiopoulos reveals his thoughts on the future of global medical affairs. Artificial intelligence can have significant value and be one of the greatest assets for the biotech industry. Plus, the team discusses how blockchain will drastically alter patient anonymity and privacy reports. Crypto machinery will protect the interest of our patients by keeping their data safe. Anne highlights how the medical affairs segment of the biotech industry is not using AI as much as other industries like entertainment, telecommunications, technology, and professional services. Dr. Stergiopoulos thinks the medical sector is pressure tested – they are first waiting to see if AI is a fad or something that is going to be ubiquitous in society.

With such a daunting task ahead, Anne theorizes asks how the biotech industry might become knowledgeable enough in the technology to utilize it daily. Dr. Stergiopoulos insists that ‘middle management’ and the technologically savvy people, are the new content experts. They’re the ones that keep pushing corporate heads to find and adopt new and relevant technologies. Many people don’t even realize they are already using AI, and they don’t even know how the technologies are rapidly evolving. One foundation is even giving out generous rewards to teams who can solve problems using AI. XPRIZE gives out millions of dollars to groups who can tackle big problem, i.e., find ways to ensure society has an indefinite supply of clean water. Then, Anne and Sotirios discuss what roles medical affairs need to focus on moving forward. Dr. Stergiopoulos reveals the top three are medical affairs services (such as medical information and medical communications), content expertise, and ensuring their MSLs are topnotch.

Later, Dr. Stergiopoulos reveals his feelings on patient-centricity. Currently those words are being used as a disturbing catchphrase. However, he believes we are moving in the right direction now. Dr. Stergiopoulos thinks we have some excellent patient-centricity officers out there, but both agree there is a need for more. The goal of the officer is to make sure that number one, most importantly, the company realizes that everything they do is all about the patients. In his previous role, the Chief Patient Centricity Officer reported directly to him, to advocate for the patient, with the number one goal to educate everybody within the company and to ensure people understand that the patient’s voice needs to be heard.

This power hour illuminates applications in AI as used in medical affairs and brings our minds up to the highest goal: seeing the potential cure for cancers in our lifetime via genetic therapies and other modalities. Keep ears perked up to hear Dr. Stergiopoulos reveal the new technologies we need to be on and what keeps his heart in the game.

In this Episode:

  • The future of global medical affairs [ 4:30 ]
  • AI deficits in the medical industry [ 11:20 ]
  • Closing the skills and knowledge gap to implement new technology [ 16:30 ]
  • People don’t even know they are utilizing AI [ 22:15 ]
  • The roles medical affairs needs to focus on moving forward [ 25:00 ]
  • What is patient-centricity? [ 31:00 ]
  • What advice would you give for companies who want to identify as patient centric? [ 36:00 ]
  • Patient centricity example [ 37:45 ]
  • New technologies to look out for, and how we may see some cancers cured in our lifetime with genetic therapies [ 42:40 ]
  • What keeps your heart in the game? [ 45:15 ]


Quotes (Sotirios Stergiopoulos):

  • “People don’t even realize they are utilizing AI right now.”
  • “The last thing you want to do is be the last one at the table.”
  • “Seeing patients just kept giving me energy.”
  • “The ability to touch patients on a grander scale is a motivator.”
  • “Do what you’ll love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Links Mentioned: