Tag Archives: Paul Hudson

A Look Back At 2015

Inspiring stories. New approaches to healthcare. Empowering patients.

In 2015, AstraZeneca Health Connections told dozens of stories about our business, our medicines, patients and our role in the community. We took you from scientific conferences to Machu Picchu, to programs and initiatives we support across the United States. We hope each story helped you learn a little bit more about AstraZeneca as a business – and how we view our role in the healthcare system.

As the year winds to a close, join us in taking a look back at some of our favorite posts from the last 12 months:

AZ&Me Prescription Savings Programs Support Patient Access For More Than 35 Years

PAP 2014 figuresOur most popular post in 2015 was about one of AstraZeneca’s most popular programs: The AZ&Me Prescription Savings Programs, which in 2014 helped nearly 383,000 patients in the United States save more than $670 million on AstraZeneca medicines.

This suite of programs is designed to help qualifying people without insurance, those enrolled in Medicare Part D, those who receive their medications through participating health care facilities and those who have faced a financial challenge recently.

Personalized Healthcare: Early Diagnostics, More Targeted Treatment

AZ_board_images_72dpi_1020px18For Mother’s Day, AstraZeneca U.S. President Paul Hudson took a look at how personalized healthcare presents a golden opportunity to significantly improve women’s health – notably among ovarian, breast and lung cancer patients. The promise of personalized healthcare is clear: It can enable doctors to more quickly identify which treatments will be most effective for individual patients based on their genetic makeup. Personalized healthcare means we can identify when a potential treatment requires an individualized strategy at an early stage and develop an integrated diagnostic plan. This helps get the right treatments to the right patients at the right times – even faster.

Transformational Journey Takes AZ Employee, Cancer Survivor To Machu Picchu 

Donato 3In April, we brought you the moving story of AstraZeneca employee Kelly Donato, who hiked Machu Picchu in Peru on her 10th anniversary of being cancer free. Donato joined 30 other cancer survivors for the trek organized by the group Above and Beyond Cancer, a non-profit organization based in Des Moines, Iowa, that organizes annual transformation journeys that unite a group of individuals affected by cancer for trips around the world to complete challenging hikes, including Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Everest Base Camp.

World Heart Day: Our Opportunity To Make An Impact

John ClymerFor World Heart Day, we published a guest post from John Clymer, the executive director of the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention to promote a new initiative designed to educate communities on how to live healthier lives. The AstraZeneca “Make Your Move Across America” initiative, a national cholesterol education campaign that offers free cholesterol screenings to adults 18 and older in select cities across the country, is an activity we were proud to be a part of this World Heart Day. Make Your Move Across America provides adults an opportunity to learn their cholesterol numbers and how to work with their doctor to manage them if necessary, which are critical components to reducing a person’s risk for heart disease and stroke.

Redefining Value Of Care

photo1aDuring Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November, we discussed the potential of personalized healthcare as it pertains to lung cancer, which causes the most cancer deaths worldwide.

Because we now know that not every case of lung cancer is the same, we know that we can no longer treat the disease as a whole in the same way for everybody. Patients have different genetic mutations, some of which develop resistance to certain types of therapies and treatments. At AstraZeneca, we’re working to understand why resistance emerges to certain therapies so that we can design improvements in the drugs we use to overcome those mechanisms of resistance.

Thank you all for reading in 2015, and we look forward to sharing more with you in 2016!

Redefining the Value of Care

By Paul Hudson, President, AstraZeneca US and Executive Vice President, North America

AZ_board_images_72dpi_1020px18Changes are happening right before our eyes as the world moves on from a one-size-fits-all approach. With recent advancements in wearables and mobile health technology, we are able to see what was once invisible – our steps, our calories, our sleep patterns. As patients and consumers, we’re becoming accountable. We’re demanding answers to questions. We’re taking our health into our own hands.

The game has changed across the healthcare industry, and discoveries in personalized medicine underscore just how. As we observe Lung Cancer Awareness Month, I am reminded of the incredible potential that personalized approaches offer for patients. According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer causes the most cancer deaths worldwide, accounting for 1.6 million deaths in 2012.

Science has come a long way. We’ve learned that not every case of lung cancer is the same, and we know that we can no longer treat the disease as a whole. Patients have different genetic mutations on their lung cells, some of which develop resistance to certain types of therapies and treatments. At AstraZeneca, we’re working to understand why resistance emerges to certain therapies so that we can design improvements in the drugs we use to overcome those mechanisms of resistance.

I recently had the opportunity to speak at the Personalized Medicine Conference in Boston, presented by Partners HealthCare, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School, and I challenged the audience of key industry stakeholders to work differently to research and develop new medicines, and to collaborate more effectively to discover solutions for patients. Personalized approaches can help to eliminate guesswork, wasted money for payers and uncertainty for patients. Faster, better treatments can reduce doctor visits and hospital stays, ultimately reducing the overall cost burden on the healthcare system.

And while personalized healthcare is strongly associated with oncology therapies, its potential has far-reaching consequences for other therapeutic areas as well. Figures from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology suggest that over 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma. However, we’re increasingly finding that the triggers and drivers of these types of respiratory conditions differ from one individual to the next, and from one country or region to another. By taking a targeted approach, our scientists are working to show that asthma is not one disease, but many smaller clusters of diseases, each with a different cause. And each different cause requires a different treatment, not unlike cancer.

Paul Hudson PerMed 2015But these breakthrough innovations mean nothing if patients can’t access them. I am realistic that no single company has all the answers. We’re seeing the potential to begin aggregating large amounts of data through information-sharing across the healthcare system. At the same time, we need drug development teams and diagnostic partners to work alongside industry stakeholders and regulatory authorities to help shape the treatment pathways for personalized healthcare and support smart clinical trial design.

This important subject has been elevated to the highest levels of the government, and important dialogue is beginning to take place in the nation’s capital through initiatives like 21st Century Cures, the Senate HELP Committee’s Innovation for Healthier Americans Report and President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative. Many of these recommendations look to bring about incremental advancements in the way the FDA uses real world evidence, can lead to improvements in how the FDA approaches drug and device combination product reviews and can help to ensure that the agency is more broadly accepting of novel clinical trial designs.

It’s imperative that we evolve our pricing structure to better reflect this value – for both patients and healthcare stakeholders. Payers are beginning to use personalized approaches to data aggregation to assess the risk of beneficiaries, and the pharmaceutical industry is working with payers to partner on innovative ways to maximize the healthcare dollar. At AstraZeneca we’ve already started these types of partnering efforts by entering into agreements with large payers in the area of risk sharing, and also experimenting with various value-based and outcomes-based agreements.

Never before has there been so much hope for patients, and opportunities for those of us across the healthcare industry to make a significant difference. At the same time, if we’re unable to keep pace with the rapid changes all around us, we will have collectively failed so many. Many of the breakthroughs of tomorrow will only be possible through advancements in personalized medicines and a clear path to making them accessible to patients.

To read more from Paul Hudson, check out his guest blog post on the Personalized Medicine Coalition’s Education and Advocacy page.

Personalized Healthcare: Early Diagnostics, More Targeted Treatment

By Paul Hudson, President, AstraZeneca US and Executive Vice President, North America

Families will come together to celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday, the same day Women’s Health Week begins in the United States. This time of year, in particular, makes me reflect on the opportunity we have in healthcare to profoundly impact the future of women’s health. New advancements in diagnostics and treatment have the potential to significantly improve women’s health – notably among ovarian, breast and lung cancer patients.

At AstraZeneca, we understand the healthcare system is moving away from a singular approach for all, and toward treating diseases with an increased focus on personalized healthcare.

The promise of personalized healthcare is clear: It can enable doctors to more quickly identify which treatments will be most effective for individual patients based on their genetic makeup. Personalized healthcare means we can identify when a potential treatment requires an individualized strategy at an early stage and develop an integrated diagnostic plan. This helps get the right treatments to the right patients at the right times – even faster.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the field of oncology, where more effective and targeted treatments are helping cancer patients live longer, healthier and more productive lives. Since its peak in 1991, the cancer death rate is down 20 percent and the five-year survival rate has climbed to 68 percent.

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Despite this progress, there is still much work to be done. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women in the United States, and breast cancer remains the most common cancer among American women. Ovarian cancer causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system and is often diagnosed late because symptoms mirror everyday ailments.

5.8.15 img 2But there’s promise. For these women, it is vital that they understand their tumor type and hormone status so they and their doctors can tailor the most effective individual treatment plans possible. At AstraZeneca, we’re working side by side with leading scientists from different disciplines to better understand how complex data can be converted into innovative treatments. For example, over 80 percent of our pipeline across therapeutic areas is being developed with a personalized healthcare strategy and more than 30 programs have a companion diagnostic test.

For ovarian cancer in particular, up to 15 percent of women have a BRCA mutation, but nearly half of women with ovarian cancer and a BRCA mutation have no significant family history. Despite the fact that major guidelines recommend that all patients living with ovarian cancer be considered for BRCA testing, not all women living with ovarian cancer are tested. By collaborating with experts in diagnostics, we’re working to drive an increase in testing and a greater awareness of risks so that innovative treatments can be matched to those patients who will benefit most.

5.8.15 img 1We’re also using personalized approaches for testing lung cancer, which accounts for about 13 percent of all new cancer cases in the United States. There are currently limited options for treating patients with advanced or metastatic lung cancer. Targeted therapies and companion diagnostics may improve treatment outcomes for patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation-positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). AstraZeneca has pioneered targeted lung cancer treatments, and we are committed to advancing knowledge of patient management and diagnostic testing in advanced NSCLC.

There continues to be significant positive news in our fight against cancer in the United States and around the world. Taken together, increased education, improved treatments and advanced diagnostic tools are helping doctors make faster, more accurate decisions that are helping patients lead healthier, longer lives.

Paul Hudson Speaks to MBA Students about Global Change Management

Paul Hudson, President, AstraZeneca US and Executive Vice President, North America, went back to school this month to speak to MBA students about global change management. The International Management course is one of many classes offered to AstraZeneca employees on site at the AstraZeneca Wilmington campus as part of the University of Delaware’s MBA program.

Paul, a native to the United Kingdom with over 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry, has spent his career collecting experience working internationally and across cultures. Specifically, he shared learnings from leading AstraZeneca businesses in Spain, Japan and most recently in the United States. Paul shared the two driving factors behind his personal leadership approach – gaining experiences that make him more effective and striving to improve the ways that groups function.

Paul gave students insight into various change situations he experienced to illustrate how different situations require different leadership approaches. “You have to earn the right for people to want to follow you and learn from you,” Paul said, when reflecting on how culture drives performance.

Paul shared a story about starting a new role in Japan in the aftermath of a tsunami and an earthquake. Very quickly he learned the importance of understanding how to responsibly prioritize the needs of employees, families and patients – making this his priority in a time of crisis for the organization. In Spain, Paul sought feedback about how to positively impact business performance and identified an opportunity to accelerate employee engagement. He focused on involving employees in the changes he was making to ensure they felt ownership in contributing to the future success of the organization. In the US, Paul had to anticipate changes that needed to happen in the short-term to ensure the organization’s long-term success in the future healthcare environment. This meant making changes to the way the business traditionally operated and building new capabilities within the organization, work that continues today.

All these experiences have a common learning, Paul explained. While many leadership books tell you to be a change agent, first you must understand the culture and rhythm of an organization. You need to accelerate the things that are going well and determine how this can lead to a high-performance culture. At the same time, you need to be open-minded to challenging an existing culture in areas where you think it’s holding performance back. It’s once you understand the culture of the organization that you can see how far you can stretch it. Paul urged students to stay focused on the big picture when making difficult management decisions. “You need to keep the future of the company in mind; it’s your job to think five years down the line,” he said. He added that the students should “have courage, especially when there’s risk.”