Tag Archives: collaboration

How We’re Making Medicine Personal

At AstraZeneca, we know your health is personal and that’s why we put careful consideration into determining the value and ultimately the cost of our medicines. Many factors go into these decisions such as the benefits our medicines provide to your health and their potential to reduce healthcare spending on other costlier medical procedures. Just as importantly, these decisions enable us to invest in discovering and developing future medicines where new treatments are needed.

So how do we balance providing affordable access to our medicines while ensuring their cost reflects the value they deliver to the individual patient and broader healthcare system? We understand the weight of this question. That’s why we spend countless hours not just thinking about it, but finding new ways to help you and those you care about receive the best care possible for medical conditions we focus on. We do this by developing innovative medicines and offering programs that are uniquely tailored to you. We’re also always looking for ways to make your medicines more affordable and we collaborate with stakeholders across the healthcare system in pursuit of this goal.

Put differently – if you need our medicines, we want you to have affordable access to them and for them to make a valuable difference to your health. Here’s how we’re making medicine personal through innovation, support, and collaboration:


Through innovative approaches, patient support programs, and key collaborations within the health and biopharmaceutical industry, we’re making medicine personal to improve your health, your care, and your future.

Our medicines represent an important part of America’s healthcare dollar and it’s our job to show how these treatments can bring value to you and the entire healthcare system. In future blog posts, we look forward to sharing more about the value our treatments provide and what we are doing to improve their accessibility and affordability.

Biopharmaceutical companies, such as AstraZeneca, lead the way in improving patient health and advancing medical innovation. Find out more here.

AstraZeneca Launches Innovative BioHub in Waltham, MA

As Paul Hudson, President, AstraZeneca US and Executive Vice President, North America said earlier this year at the Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit, “No one company has all the good ideas; it takes multiple partnerships and extensive collaboration to reach our goals.”

In continuing to build on our commitment to collaborate through meaningful partnerships to drive scientific progress forward, AstraZeneca was joined by Massachusetts officials last week to officially launch the Gatehouse Park BioHub in Waltham, MA. The Gatehouse Park BioHub will be one of the largest and most dynamic life-science research biohubs in the region, with more than 700 scientists and research and development (R&D) experts on-site by the end of 2015. Six companies are sharing the facilities, with two more expected to join before the end of the year.

9-10-15-WALTHAM, MA AstraZeneca announces new BioHub

Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy (right) presents Kumar Srinivasan, Head of AstraZeneca R&D Boston (left), with an Official Proclamation from the City of Waltham commending and congratulating AstraZeneca for the launch of the Gatehouse Park BioHub.

Kumar Srinivasan, head of AstraZeneca R&D Boston and VP Scientific Partnering and Alliances, told the audience that gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony, “At AstraZeneca, we believe that scientific innovation and great collaboration go hand in hand.

“AstraZeneca has been on a transformative journey over the past few years, placing great science at the heart of everything we do in the delivery of breakthrough medicines to patients,” said Kumar. “Our ambition is to improve the lives of 200 million people by 2025. Such a high ambition would not be possible without establishing collaborations of all types with academia and industry. The BioHub provides a fantastic opportunity to explore collaboration even further,” he said.

This new and more open research BioHub contributes to the vibrancy of the life sciences research community in the Boston area and Massachusetts as a whole. The vision of the participating companies is to continue to attract the best talent and to contribute to the synergy of the life sciences research community in Massachusetts. There will be a full range of scientific activity at the BioHub, including oncology drug discovery, antibacterial drug discovery and development, and nanotechnology.

Massachusetts Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash (left) congratulates Kumar Srinivasan, Head of AstraZeneca R&D Boston (right), at a ceremony to launch AstraZeneca’s Gatehouse Park BioHub.

Massachusetts Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash (left) congratulates Kumar Srinivasan, Head of AstraZeneca R&D Boston (right), at a ceremony to launch AstraZeneca’s Gatehouse Park BioHub.

Calling the BioHub a “bold initiative,” and “unique opportunity to cross-pollinate ideas,” Jay Ash, Massachusetts Secretary, Economic Development and Housing, congratulated AstraZeneca for the launch of the BioHub.

“You should be very proud of what you are accomplishing,” Secretary Ash said to the many scientists in attendance. “You are touching lives and giving hope to millions of people.”

Opened in 2000 as an AstraZeneca R&D site dedicated to cutting edge drug discovery, the facility is now a dynamic center where scientists from a variety of companies come together to share ideas and push the boundaries of science, with more buzz and more people than ever before. The six companies already in place are AstraZeneca, Entasis Therapeutics, Qiagen, Wellomics, Ekteino and Persomics.

This site is one of three AstraZeneca R&D sites to be transformed into a BioHub, along with Molndal, Sweden and Alderley Park, UK, where AstraZeneca researchers are working side-by-side with scientists from academic institutions to make strides in scientific discovery. AstraZeneca believes in what science can do and values the partnerships that contribute to the discoveries that ultimately help patients.

Pictured above: Left to right: Peter Blume-Jensen, Head of XTuit Pharmaceuticals; State Representative Joseph Wagner; Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy; State Representative Thomas Stanley; State Representative John Lawn; Massachusetts Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash; Head of AstraZeneca R&D Boston Kumar Srinivasan; State Senator Michael Rodrigues; Massachusetts Life Sciences CEO Robert Coughlin

AZ and Sutter Health form Research Collaboration

As part of our commitment to improving the lives of patients, AstraZeneca has teamed up with not-for-profit Sutter Health for a three year research and innovation collaboration, through which we will design, prototype, and pilot innovative approaches to cardiometabolic health care. Cardiometabolic care focuses on the treatment and management of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol and common, co-occurring serious health complications such as heart attack, stroke, limb loss, blindness and even death.

With improved access and understanding of data, and use of leading-edge technologies, researchers hope to re-engineer the delivery of cardiometabolic care, enabling patients and doctors to spend more time together personalizing care options.

“Diabetes, high blood pressure and poorly controlled cholesterol can have an enormous impact on a person’s quality of life and the cost of health care,” said Greg Keenan, Vice President, Medical Affairs and U.S. Head Medical Officer, AstraZeneca. “We believe that Sutter Health and AstraZeneca will bring together unique expertise and experiences to improve the lives of patients. Through this innovative research collaboration with Sutter Health, we hope to improve the future of cardiometabolic care and translate solutions into programs that health systems nationwide could implement.”

In an effort to help speed diagnosis and improve patients’ quality of life, researchers hope to create forward-looking technologies and treatments through a better understanding of existing gaps in cardiometabolic care.

The collaboration will focus in three key areas.

  • Making data meaningful:Researchers will pull key data from across the Sutter Health network into a comprehensive, electronic system and conduct novel, essential analytical steps to continually identify gaps in care; recognize and monitor patient needs; and translate these insights into guideline-based care recommendations.
  • Personalizing care: Researchers will design, develop, and implement new tools to help patients and providers work together on care options personalized to a patient’s needs and then develop innovative care approaches for use outside the traditional face-to-face clinic visit.
  • Ongoing learning: By tracking the impact of work, researchers will continually grow and evolve their efforts.

More than 29 million people in the United States—or 9.3 percent of the population—have diabetes, for example, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Adults with diabetes have a 50 percent higher risk of death than those without the disease, and the medical costs for people with diabetes are twice as high as those without. The CDC also estimates 71 million American adults (34 percent) have high LDL-C (bad cholesterol), which puts them at higher risk of developing heart disease. Only 1 out of every 3 adults with high LDL-C has the condition under control. Improvements in cardiometabolic healthcare can potentially improve the health of these patients, reduce complications of these diseases and lower overall healthcare costs.

COPD Foundation Launches New Program to Spur Research

The COPD Foundation has announced the launch of COPD360, an exciting new initiative to help patients. COPD360 is an innovative approach to accelerating research and developing new treatment options for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).copd foundation

“AstraZeneca is proud to be a founding sponsor of this pioneering effort,” said Greg Keenan, Vice President, Medical Affairs and U.S. Chief Medical Officer, AstraZeneca. “This is an innovative undertaking that we truly believe will enable faster recruitment for clinical trials and spur COPD research at an unprecedented level.”

COPD360 will enroll 125,000 patients, who have agreed to share their health data, in the integrated database, giving researchers a chance to explore patient-reported outcomes and new observational data. By having access to this information, researchers will be able to explore new areas of study and—hopefully—identify a cure for COPD.

“I would like to thank AstraZeneca for becoming a founding corporate sponsor of COPD360. This substantial commitment will make an immediate impact on our ability to enroll patients and to build a community of active research participants,” said John W. Walsh, COPD Foundation President and Co-Founder.

COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and affects more than 30 million Americans. Knowledge of this disease has expanded more recently and it is considered a complex disease with multiple comorbidities that can lead to frequent infections, hospital admissions and mortality. It is unknown why many individuals who are exposed to known risk factors, such as smoking, do not develop COPD. With a rising economic burden estimated at approximately $50 billion annually, there is a disproportionately low level of research funding allocated to this preventable progressive disease.

As the founding sponsor of COPD360, AstraZeneca provided $2.5 million to the COPD Foundation. We are the first company to provide large-scale funding for this type of national COPD database and are eager to see the impact it may have for patients with COPD over the next several years.

As respiratory leaders, this program aligns with AstraZeneca’s commitment to patients and finding novel approaches to improving care for individuals living with COPD.

For more information about COPD360 or to enroll in the program, please contact the COPD Foundation at 1-866-316-COPD (2673)

Thought Leaders Focus on Diversity in Final National Journal Dinner

Many questions revolve around the topic of workplace diversity, such as how it can be quantified by employers, and what exactly a diverse talent pool looks like. How can we tell if companies are truly doing enough to drive a diverse culture? This far reaching subject was recently examined at a dynamic event where AstraZeneca leaders hosted a conversation with experts on diversity in Washington, D.C.

Laura_4This thought leader dinner was the final event of a series of four C-suite-level engagements taking place over the course of this year in partnership with the National Journal, a nationally recognized non-partisan publication. Laura Mably, Vice President, US Human Resources and Rich Buckley, Vice President, North America Corporate Affairs, led a group of experts and executives – including non-profit leaders, academia and other key stakeholders – in a discussion around diversity in the workplace: how companies can promote diversity and the challenges they face in this effort.

Rich_1Participants agreed that there is no silver bullet when it comes to achieving a diverse workforce. The definition of diversity itself was debated and while there was agreement in actions and measures that organizations can take to recruit, retain and develop diverse talent, there was also consensus that as a country, we have a long way to go.

Many interesting themes arose during a lively discussion around the role of leadership in achieving a diverse workforce. This proved to be a controversial topic and spurred many sides of a debate, one side arguing that management and senior leaders must be the ones to begin a diversity and inclusion strategy from the top down – modeling the right behaviors, engaging with their direct reports and creating the platforms for the future. Whereas opposing viewpoints stressed the importance of building a diverse and inclusive culture from the bottom up, allowing an organic culture to grow and finding actions and measures which will outlast any one particular leader.

Dinner_1The discussion touched on the pipeline gap in North America and how difficult succession planning can be for diverse talent. This opened a wider discussion about cultivating diversity out into our world beyond the workplace. All participants were in agreement that until we achieve diversity in our personal lives – in schools, churches, playgrounds – we can’t achieve diversity where we work.

At the end of the evening, however, there was a shared energy and optimism around the table about how companies and leaders can hold each other accountable for making true culture change in the years to come.

The dinner was part of a series of events coordinated by National Journal LIVE, a premier events business that convenes top leaders in the Washington, D.C. area to discuss possible solutions to the country’s biggest challenges.

Personalized Medicine takes Spotlight at Thought Leader Event

Personalized medicine can take on many different meanings based on one’s perspective and experience, which made for lively debate as the topic took center stage at AstraZeneca’s latest thought leadership dinner held in Washington, D.C. in partnership with the National Journal. On Monday, October 20, AstraZeneca executives brought together industry leaders and stakeholders to discuss the current state and future of personalized medicine.


Rich Buckley, Vice President, North America Corporate Affairs and Dave Fredrickson, Vice President, Specialty Care, mingle with guests.

The event was the third of a series this year, the first focusing on patient centricity and the second on value in healthcare. Dave Fredrickson, Vice President, Specialty Care; Will Mongan, Vice President, Business Development, New Product Planning and Foundations Portfolio; and Rich Buckley, Vice President, North America Corporate Affairs led a group of 14 industry experts and executives – including patient advocates, providers, academia, media and other key stakeholders – in a discussion about the concept of personalized medicine

Participants agreed that the paradigm of treatment and delivery for care in today’s healthcare system is rapidly shifting, and patients are at the heart of this transformation. Many attendees also agreed that regulations need to keep pace with innovation, and that some level of collaboration will be necessary across the system in order for doctors, academia, payers, providers, regulators and drug companies to produce meaningful outcomes. This is complicated by the fact that the roles of these key stakeholders are changing, making it more difficult to reach a consensus about what matters to patients and what the guideposts for development should be.


(Left to right) Sheila Walcoff, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Goldbug Strategies, LLC; Marilyn Werber Serafini, Vice President, Policy, Alliance for Health Reform; Will Mongan, Vice President, Business Development, AstraZeneca; J. Russell Teagarden, Senior Vice President, Medical and Scientific Affairs, National Organization for Rare Disorders

Patients are becoming increasingly involved in their own care and diagnosis, along with their doctors. This allows greater potential for doctors to personalize patient care and to observe patients in real-time to improve outcomes and adherence. Attendees said that in order to determine the most appropriate treatment for patients, providers need to be able to analyze in rapid form. The current regulatory system contains administrative and procedural hurdles that call for more evidence and increased scientific validity. In order to keep up with the current transformation, we need to reexamine the burden of proof with respect to evidence, as well as approaches to clinical practice and innovation to ensure that treatments can become more patient-centric.


(Left to right) Paul Sheives, Director, Diagnostics and Personalized Medicine Policy, Biotechnology Industry Organization; Robert Wright, Chief Editor, Life Science Leader Magazine; Sheila Walcoff, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Goldbug Strategies, LLC

While seeking a common definition for personalized medicine, some participants talked about it as a goal, others as an art or a tool; some defined it as precision medicine, and others thought the definition was unimportant. All participants agreed that the system must shift in terms of regulation, though some called for a fundamental redesign, while others asked simply for incremental changes. One participant added that no matter what we call it, we are all united in our collective goal to provide cures to patients in a world of transformation.

The dinner was part of a series of events coordinated by National Journal LIVE, a premier events business that convenes top leaders in the Washington, D.C. area to discuss possible solutions to the country’s biggest challenges.

Industry Experts Join AZ Leaders to Discuss Value in Healthcare

How is value defined by healthcare’s many stakeholders? How can the priorities of these stakeholders be pursued to get the best result for patients? How can the U.S. healthcare system improve patient health, while lowering the cost of care?

Paul Spittle, Vice President of Growth and Marketing, AstraZeneca

Paul Spittle, Vice President of Growth and Marketing, AstraZeneca

These questions and others were explored on Monday, July 14, as AstraZeneca executives – including Paul Spittle, Vice President of Growth and Marketing; Diane Sullivan, Vice President of Market Access & Patient Strategies; and Rich Buckley, Vice President of North America Corporate Affairs – hosted a group of industry experts in Washington, D.C. for a dinner discussion about the concept of value in today’s evolving healthcare environment.

Participants represented a broad range of stakeholders, from insurance and hospital executives, to nonprofit groups, policy experts and media. Julie Rovner, Robin Toner Distinguished Fellow and Senior Correspondent for Kaiser Health News, served as moderator for the discussion.

Rich Buckley, Vice President of North America Corporate Affairs and Diane Sullivan, Vice President of Market Access & Patient Strategies, AstraZeneca

Rich Buckley, Vice President of North America Corporate Affairs and Diane Sullivan, Vice President of Market Access & Patient Strategies, AstraZeneca

Participants discussed how the definitions and perceptions of value are wide-ranging and constantly evolving (over time and through changing circumstances), making it difficult to identify effective and sustainable solutions to improve healthcare.  Despite these challenges, the group explored a number of actions that can be taken to help strengthen and preserve the quality of healthcare for patients while controlling costs — from better harnessing the power of available data and technology, to offering wellness and preventable care programs, to engaging patients in the health value discussion in a truly meaningful way.

The dinner was part of a series of events coordinated by National Journal LIVE, a premier events business that convenes top leaders in the Washington, D.C. area to discuss possible solutions to the country’s biggest challenges.

AZ at the Cannes Lions Health Festival – Digital innovation, moving beyond the pill

By John McCarthy, VP, global commercial excellence, AstraZeneca

McCarthy, John 2012 (USLT Picture)

The first ever Cannes Lions Health Festival held in Cannes, France, June 13-14, brought together healthcare communicators and brands to discuss the sector’s current state and collaboratively forge into the future.

I presented a seminar, along with our partner DigitasLBi, on advances in digital technology that are revolutionizing the wellbeing of patients, and minimizing strain for health service providers. I spoke to how AstraZeneca’s unique patient-centric approach is enabled by rapid product prototyping, testing and learning – the DIG model.

DIG stands for Digital Innovation Group and is a collaboration between DigitasLBi and AstraZeneca. We’re a team with a broad range of skills taken from two very different industries. We came together to take on and solve some of the big challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry, from improving the way healthcare professionals work, connect and learn, to finding new ways to put patients in the driver’s seat when it comes to decisions about their health and treatment options.

The DIG model is a completely different way of working and aims to create products and services that are sustainable and that make a real difference both to doctors and to patients. I know that as DIG delivers more results through the rest of this year, we’ll see physicians and patients benefiting from our work.

John McCarthy at Cannes

I shared with the audience at Cannes the three approaches that are fundamental to success in digital innovation:

  1. Be different. It’s real easy to say. But you’ve got to be in a space that’s uncomfortable, you’ve got to free yourselves from your organization. If you want a different result, you’d better be different from the beginning.
  2. Be humble. There is humility in creating a learning environment. You have to put aside what you know. You have to be willing to listen to somebody else that has a better insight, who is more in touch with the patient, the process, the physician.
  3. Be brave. We’re in an innovative space and we fail a lot. We’re focusing on some things that we think are pretty successful to date, but we could still fail. We have another 20-25 ideas that we’ve already put on the shelf. Failure is real and, if you are still thinking in the old way it can tear you down. Or it can make you stronger.

As we further our digital innovation, we know it requires us to think differently and move from selling products to creating services that are meaningful to patients and physicians, in other words, moving beyond the pill.

It was a tremendous experience to participate and present at this global conference, while proudly representing the innovative work that AstraZeneca and DigitasLBI are advancing. These initiatives speak to AstraZeneca’s values – we are committed to helping physicians with the demands in their practices and solving problems for patients. We must put patients first – they have to be at the center of what we do. If we do this, I’m confident our work can make a truly meaningful difference.


AZ Talks Oncology with Social Media Leaders

By Rachel Humphrey, Head of Immuno-Oncology 

Today’s patient is online. Not only are patients searching for information on their personal health conditions, but they are seeking other patients who have shared in their experiences. This is especially true in the oncology space, where patients and advocates have taken to social media, helping each other locate resources and discuss the advancement of cancer research and care.

In June of 2013, through an inaugural oncology summit, we were able to learn firsthand from a diverse group of advocates about the online communities they’ve started, the information they consider most useful, and what AstraZeneca can do to help.

Continuing our efforts to give a voice to patients living with these debilitating diseases, AstraZeneca will be hosting a second oncology summit on June 17 in Gaithersburg, MD expanding to include some of the leading voices in the oncology space.

With a 30-year legacy in oncology, AstraZeneca has been a leader in developing innovative approaches to treat cancer, concentrating on those therapy areas where we believe we can make the greatest difference. It is our primary commitment to patients that is at the heart of everything we do. Join our conversation: #AZoncology.

On June 17, AstraZeneca will host an Oncology Summit with leading voices in the breast, lung, ovarian and thyroid cancer spaces. Join the conversation: #AZoncology

On June 17, AstraZeneca will host an Oncology Summit with leading voices in the breast, lung, ovarian and thyroid cancer spaces. Join the conversation: #AZoncology

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AZ and DigitasLBi present together at Cannes Lions Health Festival

AstraZeneca understands the importance of leveraging new technologies to improve business practices that better serve patients and doctors. This Friday, June 13, AstraZeneca teams up with global strategic partner DigitasLBi to deliver The New Creative Process: Revolutionising the Wellbeing of Patients & Doctors, a digital communication seminar at the Cannes Lions Health Festival.The first ever two-day event, held in Cannes, France as part of the Cannes Lions Festival, unites healthcare communicators and brands to discuss the sector’s current state and collaboratively forge a way to the future.

Advances in digital technology have created challenges for healthcare professionals and their patients. Doctors face ever increasing workloads and the bewildering amount of online information makes keeping up with the industry’s already-swift pace especially difficult. However, by harnessing these digital tools, healthcare professionals have the opportunity to strengthen their relationship with patients and provide more efficient care. John McCarthy, Vice President of Global Commercial Excellence at AZ, and Ewen Sturgeon, Chief Executive of International at DigitasLBi, will reveal how AZ’s unique patient-centric approach is enabled by rapid product prototyping, testing and learning.

To follow the festival or join the conversation on Twitter, check out @Lions_Health, #CreativityInHealth and #LionsHealth.

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