Past Event: Face to Face: Drug Plan Management Toronto

December 08, 2016
The Fairmont Royal York, Toronto

The Face-to-Face Drug Plan Management Forum (Toronto) is a half-day event focusing on drug plan management issues. This forum will combine presentations, case studies and interactive panel discussions that provide stakeholders with an opportunity to share common challenges and joint solutions.

New to the 2016 conference, this year's Toronto event will feature a panel with live polling technology, providing delegates with the opportunity to engage in, and drive panel discussion. 
The theme of this year's conference is Dollars and Design: Real Answers in Real Time.

Understanding how to manage drug spend effectively is crucial to the sustainability of any drug plan. There are various factors to consider in plan design, and numerous players involved. This event will provide plan sponsors with the unique opportunity to participate in a live discussion with group insurers, benefits consultants, pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare stakeholders to achieve a greater understanding of plan design.


Plan Sponsor/Employer Price = $129
Industry Provider Price = $249 + HST

Benefits Canada will apply to the Institute for CE credits.
You must stay for the FULL event to be eligible.


Employee benefit and drug plan sponsors, benefit consultants, group insurers and other healthcare stakeholders. See above for more details. If you would like to suggest someone to attend or want more clarification, please email Lauren Harris, editor, conferences, Rogers Media

For information on how to sponsor this event, please contact Francesca Allman, senior national account manager.

TwitterJoin the conversation! Tweet your questions @BenCanMag #F2FTO

Face to Face in Drug Plan Management

December 8, 2016
The Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto
(*Please note this is a draft and subject to change)

7:30 - 8:20 a.m.
Breakfast and Registration

8:20 - 8:30 a.m.
Opening Remarks

8:30 - 9:00 a.m.
Can we afford to ignore productivity loss due to illness? Presenteeism and your drug plan

Traditionally, productivity loss has been measured according to illness-related absence from work (absenteeism) only. However, there is increasing evidence that presenteeism (reduced quantity or quality of labour input while at work) is an even greater source of productivity losses. In this session, Dr. Aslam Anis will discuss issues related to productivity loss measurement and valuation. He will then explore the impact of these issues on the workforce and highlight how employers can respond to tackle absenteeism and presenteeism with their drug plans. Don’t miss this session to learn about how drug plan coverage may relate to productivity.

Dr. Aslam Anis,
professor, University of British Columbia's School of Population and Public Health

[Download the Presentation]

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Live Polling Panel: Debunking Myths in Drug Plan Management
In order to better understand drug plan management, it’s important to highlight some of the common myths and misconceptions that exist. This moderated session will engage plan sponsors in discussion through the use of live polling technology. This session will touch on topics such as biologics vs. biosimilars, prescription prices and managing specialty drug spend.

Sample myths to be discussed:

- The price of a prescription is the same at all pharmacies – since drug prices are regulated in Canada, it doesn’t matter where you shop.
- Managing specialty drug spend more important than managing the spend for chronic diseases.
- Doctors understand the relative costs of medications they are prescribing.

Joe Farago, executive director, healthcare innovation, Innovative Medicines Canada
John Herbert, director, strategy, product development and clinical services, Express Scripts Canada
Jim Keon,
president, Biosimilars Canada
Godfrey Mau, pharmacist consultant, Manulife Financial
Kevin Wong, manager, pharmacy services, Telus Health
Durhane Wong-Rieger,
president and chief executive officer, Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders

(Panel discussion supported by Sanofi)

[Download the Live Polling Results]

10:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Networking Break

10:30 - 11:20 a.m.
The Burden of Non-Adherence Panel
Non-adherence to medication means a less healthy workforce and plan sponsor dollars wasted. What impacts plan member adherence and what role does the plan sponsor play? How can plan sponsors maximize their investments and minimize waste to create room for other drug spend? This session will answer these questions and provide plan sponsors with key takeaways that are actionable in their organizations to improve plan member adherence.

Chris Goguen,
strategic pharmaceutical partnerships lead, Medavie Blue Cross
Barb Martinez, practice leader, benefits solutions, The Great-West Life Assurance Company
Dawn Richards,
science and patient consultant (participation made possible by Amgen)
Mark Rolnick,
vice-president, payor partnerships and plan sponsor innovation, Shoppers Drug Mart

11:20 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Plan design changes – A journey not a destination
In this session, David Wetherald will highlight examples from Toromont’s journey to show that plan sponsors CAN implement meaningful plan design change without adversely impacting health outcomes for plan members. Examples that he will touch on include the implementation of a custom formulary, their own Preferred Provider Network, drug APP, enhanced generic and, effective January 1, 2017, their decision to implement disease-state based Prior Authorization. Learn how Toromont made these changes and re-introduced some the savings into employee health measures.

David Wetherald,
vice-president, human resources and legal and corporate secretary, Toromont Industries Ltd.

[Download the Presentation]

12:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks

Face to Face Drug Plan Management Forum - Speakers


Dr. Aslam Anis

Anis Aslam

Dr. Aslam Anis is a professor in the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) at the University of British Columbia (UBC), a respected health economist and sought-after speaker on the topic of economic evaluation and resource allocation for health care interventions. His primary areas of expertise include Canadian competition policy in the pharmaceutical industry and the cost-effectiveness of treatments for HIV/AIDS and rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Anis is the Director of the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcomes Sciences (CHEOS), one of the largest and most productive multidisciplinary health outcomes research groups in Canada. He is also the National Director of the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN), a Senior Scientist at the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada, and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Dr. Anis's research activities have been extensive. His earliest research into the pharmaceutical industry demonstrated that pricing regulations as they were being implemented by provincial drug plans were responsible for higher generic drug prices in Canada. As the founding director of the Pharmacoeconomic Initiative of BC, Dr. Anis developed a framework under which pharmaceutical firms seeking to list drugs on the provincial formulary were required to submit cost-effectiveness data to inform the government's decision. In the 1990s, Dr. Anis was among the first scholars worldwide to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of anti-retroviral therapy and his work helped shape economic policies governing access to this critical treatment for persons living with HIV/AIDS. As an expert in cost-effectiveness analysis, Dr. Anis has also made important contributions to arthritis research. In the area of rheumatoid arthritis, Dr. Anis has been involved in several influential studies of biologic therapies, which have informed reimbursement policies surrounding these treatments in Canada and the UK.


Joe Farago

Joe Farago was hired in January 2016 as the executive director healthcare innovation for Innovative Medicines Canada, which represents Canada's innovative pharmaceutical industry. Farago is responsible for the private payer market. Shortly after joining the organization Farago identified the rapid changes and challenges taking place in the private payer space that impact future patient access. He has been responding by mobilizing resources to focus on bringing discussions and solutions to the stakeholder table that will ensure the sustainability of the private market insurance in Canada. Farago is leading the industries efforts in taking a more proactive approach to addressing today’s issue to ensure tomorrow's workforces in Canada have strong private market coverage best suited to meeting their needs. Over the last 27 years, Farago has acquired a vast knowledge of the Canadian Pharmaceutical and Specialty Biopharmaceutical markets. He has a wide range of experience in access, government affairs, sales, marketing and operations. Farago has had the opportunity to be part of establishing two organizations in the Canadian market from the ground up and brings a strong understand of market access success and organizational development. Farago started his pharmaceutical career with Servier Canada in 1989 until he entered the Plasma Protein Specialty market with CSL Limited in 2007 where he was instrumental in establishing and building the Canadian organization to a market leader. Farago attended Carleton University, graduating in 1989 with a BSc.

Chris Goguen

Chris Goguen is the strategic pharmaceutical partnerships lead within the Drug Management Solutions team at Medavie Blue Cross. The focus of his role is strengthening Medavie’s business relationships with the pharmaceutical industry, to design services and agreements that will result in savings for plan sponsors, and to mobilize innovative partnerships that will advance improved health outcomes. Goguen joined Medavie Blue Cross earlier last year, with 25 years of experience as a senior leader within the research based pharmaceutical industry in Canada. With the majority of his career focussed on External Affairs, including strategy and relationship development with governments, private payers & other health stakeholders across Canada, Goguen has developed expertise in drug pricing, access, negotiation and patient health management strategies. He has played a lead role in development and implementation of numerous disease [drug] management partnership programs, impacting both public and private health system outcomes.

John Hebert

John Herbert is responsible for leading the formulary and programs area, including drug plan management activities for Express Scripts Canada, where he also directs strategic initiatives and product development activities. Herbert's powers of observation have helped him successfully lead Express Scripts Canada's analytics activities, including the direction of financial and data analysis projects across the organization. Prior to joining Express Scripts Canada in 1999, Herbert gained valuable insight into the group insurance industry during his tenure as a consultant at London Life Insurance Company and as an employee benefits analyst at Morneau Shepell. John graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario with his Master of Business Administration in 1999.

Jim Keon

Jim Keon is president of Biosimilars Canada, the voice of Canada's biosimilar medicines industry. Keon graduated with an M.A. in Economics from Queen's University, and has more than 20 years' experience in the pharmaceutical sector. Keon was named the founding President of Biosimilars Canada in January 2015. He also serves as President of the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA). Prior to joining CGPA in 1994 he held senior positions in the federal government and was directly involved in international trade negotiations for NAFTA and the WTO, as well as Canada's inter-provincial trade negotiations. Keon is Past Chair of the International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (IGBA), which is committed to promoting the interests of generic and biosimilar medicines around the world. He is currently Chair of the IGBA International Trade Committee.

Barbara Martinez

Barbara A. Martinez is the national practice leader, drug benefits solutions in the Toronto Group Sales office of Great-West Life Assurance Company. Martinez provides support to Great-West Life Group Sales Offices across Canada on our prescription drug management initiatives. She plays a key role in supporting plan advisors and their clients on Great-West Life drug solutions products. Martinez joined Great-West Life in November of 2012 and is ideally suited to this role. She comes to Great-West Life with 10 years' experience at Mercer, where she lead the Canadian drug benefits consulting team. She is also well known as a regular speaker at industry forums and commentator on employer drug programs. Martinez has in-depth knowledge of the prescription drug, regulatory and drug approval process in Canada from both a government and private drug plan perspective. Her past experience includes 13 years of working in the pharmaceutical industry. Her main responsibilities were sales and marketing, as well as government and professional affairs.

Godfrey Mau

Godfrey Mau joined Manulife in April 2014 and supports client initiatives related to pharmacy benefit management. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto's pharmacy program and began his career practicing in hospital pharmacy. Since then, Mau has held a variety of roles in the private sector and corporate pharmacy, and has been responsible for product development, marketing, sales support, and formulary management. He continues to maintain an active pharmacist license and practices in both retail and hospital pharmacy.


Dawn Richards

Dawn Richards is a science and patient consultant, with a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry. Her diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis a decade ago instigated her career journey to combine her passion for science and make the most of her diagnosis. As a volunteer patient advocate, Richards is vice-president of the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance and a member of The BMJ's Patient Panel Reviewers, and formerly the first Patient Advisor of the Canadian Medical Association's Wait Time Alliance and member of CIHR's Institute Advisory Board of the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis.

Mark Rolnick

Mark Rolnick is vice-president, payor partnerships and plan sponsor innovation with Shoppers Drug Mart. Rolnick is responsible for leading the strategy and development of innovative sustainable solutions to help employers manage their drug plans and improve the health and wellness of their employees. Rolnick and his team work in partnership with insurance carriers, benefits consultants and advisors to implement and execute these initiatives. Prior to joining Shoppers Drug Mart, Rolnick spent over five years at Sun Life Financial in leadership roles within the Group Benefits product development area with a portfolio that included pharmaceuticals, disability, and health and wellness. Rolnick also spent over 11 years at AstraZeneca holding a number of roles with increasing responsibility including market access, sales, marketing, strategic planning, and business development. Rolnick practiced pharmacy for many years, and also has an M.Sc. in Health Economics and a MBA.

David Wetherald

David Wetherald is vice-president, human resources and legal and corporate secretary of Toromont Industries Ltd . He joined Toromont in 2004 as general counsel and corporate secretary and became vice-president human resources and legal in 2008. He was previously employed with Torstar Corporation as general counsel and secretary with corporate oversight and development responsibilities, and prior to that for five years with Davies, a large Toronto law firm.

Kevin Wong

Kevin Wong is manager, pharmacy services and is responsible for developing strategies for managing drug claims, providing innovation, formulary design and management, drug pricing and policy, drug evaluations, and pharmacy provider and stakeholder relations. With over 10 years of experience within the pharmacy sector, Wong has held several marketing and clinical managerial positions at Target Canada and Shoppers Drug Mart. Wong continues to practice as a retail pharmacist, and guest lectures at the Leslie L Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto.


Are you interested in speaking at Face to Face Drug Plan Management?

Contact conference editor Lauren Harris at 416.764.3958

The Fairmont Royal York Hotel

Just steps away from our famous doors in the heart of Canada's largest metropolis is an exciting mix of activities and attractions that will leave you exhilarated. From the theater, entertainment and financial districts, to shopping, sightseeing, and world-class sports facilities, The Fairmont Royal York hotel truly is ''at the center of it all'' in Toronto.

Fairmont Fairmont

100 Front Street West, Toronto, ON M5J 1E3

Telephone: 416 368 2511
Fax: 416 368 9040

Driving Directions:

From Lester B. Pearson International Airport
Follow signs to 427 South
From 427 South, take the Gardiner Expressway Eastbound
Follow along the Gardiner Expressway Eastbound
Take the Yonge/York/Bay Street exit
Follow along Bay Street going Northbound
Turn left onto Front Street for valet parking; entrance is on right

From Highway 401 (Eastbound or Westbound)
Exit on the Don Valley Parkway (DVP) Southbound
Exit on the Gardiner Expressway Westbound
Exit on Yonge Street North
Left on Front Street (Westbound)
Pass one set of lights (Bay Street)
Hotel is on right-hand side, across from Union Station

Valet Parking:
Valet Parking is available at the east doors of the hotel, off Front Street. In-and-out privileges are included.

Overnight rate for Registered Guests: $42.00
30 minutes or less: $11.00
One hour or less: $16.00
One hour, 30 minutes or less: $21.00
Two hours or less: $26.00
Daytime maximum (7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) or over two hours: $34.00
Evening function rate (5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.): $31.00

For more information, please contact Andrea Buzzetti Event Manager
For sponsorship information contact Francesca Gibson at 416-764-3883 or