Past Event: Calgary Drug Trends Summit

October 24, 2019
Fairmont Palliser Hotel, Calgary

2019 Calgary Drug Trends Summit

Read coverage from the event

Want to learn about up-and-coming industry developments that will impact your drug plan? Benefits Canada welcomes you to join us at the 2019 Calgary Drug Trends Summit.

This year’s event will feature presentations intended to educate plan sponsors and advisors around specific disease states and challenges, new drug treatment categories/offerings and key drug trends.

How much does it cost?
$129 plus tax.

Should I attend?
If you’re an employer responsible for your organization’s drug plan, benefits, wellness, human resources and/or corporate health – or a broker, benefits consultant, group insurer or advisor – then this summit is where you want to be. 



Francesca Allman

Cassandra Williamson-Hopp
Katerina Galkina

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Calgary Drug Trends Summit

October 24, 2019
Fairmont Palliser, Calgary

Please note: this agenda is subject to change.

8:00 - 8:55 AM

8:55 - 9:00 AM

9:00 - 9:30 AM
Drug pipeline: What lies ahead for private plans
Every year there are advancements and innovations in drug therapies that provide important, life changing treatments for plan members, but with many new therapies being higher cost, this can place significant pressure on the sustainability of private drug plans. Don’t be blindsided by these new, high-cost treatments. Victoria has reviewed over 200 drugs that are under review by Health Canada and she will highlight some new and notable therapies in the drug pipeline that carry the potential to vastly impact drug benefit spend.

Victoria Shaw, drug benefit manager, Alberta Blue Cross

[Download Victoria's Presentation.]

9:30 - 10:00 AM
The impact of migraine on the individual and society
Migraine patients bear significant physical and emotional challenges and reductions in quality of life. Those with migraine have increased rate of depression, anxiety and suicide compared to healthy populations. Migraine interferes with relationships with family members, friends and colleagues – and affects people during the years when employment is most productive and family demands are highest. Join Dr. Amoozegar while she discusses the burden of migraine and value of new treatments to plan members and plan sponsors.

Dr. Farnaz Amoozegar, neurologist and clinical assistant professor, University of Calgary

(This session has been made possible by Eli Lilly.)

[Download Dr. Amoozegar's Presentation.]

10:00 - 10:30 AM
HPV disease prevention: Now is the time
In this session, Dr. Angel Chu will discuss the burden of HPV-related diseases. The presentation will help attendees understand the impact of HPV on physical and psychosocial wellbeing and the importance of HPV vaccines in improving workplace productivity.

Dr. Angel Chu, infectious diseases physician, Foothills Medical Centre

(This session has been made possible by Merck.)

[Download Dr. Chu's Presentation.]

10:30 - 11:00 AM


11:00 - 11:30 AM
Why should patients be engaged in informed discussion on use of biologic medicines?
This presentation will address three key questions: Why is it essential that patients be engaged in an informed discussion on their choice of biologic medicines; what is the role and responsibility of healthcare professionals in educating patients about the options for biologic medicines and in supporting them to optimize the use of biologics; and how can drug programs (private and public) assure sustainability of access to biologics, including affordability and assurance of quality and supply?

Durhane Wong-Rieger, president and chief executive officer, Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders

(This session has been made possible by AbbVie.)

[Download Durhane's Presentation.]

11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Plan sponsor case study: Fluor Canada
This exclusive case study will explore the benefits plan of a national employer: Fluor Canada. Moderated by Benefits Canada, this interview-style session will touch on topics including drug plan design, wellness initiatives and human resource trends.

Michelle Ginter, senior human resources manager, Fluor Canada

[Session not available for download.]

12:15 - 12:20 PM

Calgary Drug Trends - Speakers

Calgary Drug Trends Summit

October 24, 2019



Dr. Angel Chu

Michael Koehn

Dr. Angel Chu is an infectious diseases physician at the department of medicine, based at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary. She’s also a clinical assistant professor at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary as well as medical director of Calgary STI clinic.
She completed her BSc with honors in pharmacology and her MD with special training in research at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, before relocating to Calgary to complete her internal medicine residency and infectious diseases fellowship. Dr. Chu then completed subspecialty training in high resolution anoscopy at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver and launched the High Resolution Anoscopy Clinic in Calgary. She has a special interest in immunizations and vaccine-preventable diseases.


Dr. Farnaz Amoozegar

Michael Koehn

Dr. Amoozegar is a neurologist and clinical assistant professor at the University of Calgary. She completed sub-specialty training in the area of headache and facial pain in 2009 and a masters degree in clinical epidemiology in 2014. She practices at the Calgary Headache Assessment and Management Program, is involved in clinical research, and in teaching of fellows, residents and medical students in various settings. She is passionate about increasing awareness of various headache conditions and their significant impact on the patient, family and society.





Michelle Ginter

Michael Koehn

A distinguished University of Lethbridge graduate, Michelle has worked in human resources for 19 years. Her experience within HR has covered benefits, retirement, employee relations, talent acquisition, compensation, payroll and talent development. Michelle’s career has given her benefits experience as a plan sponsor and an insurer. She has worked in non-profit, the public sector and private industries such as oil, gas, manufacturing and engineering. For the past six years, Michelle has lead benefits and HRIS for Fluor Canada Ltd, overseeing benefits, retirement, wellness and SAP. Michelle has recently co-chaired the ‘People Charter’ at Fluor Canada and is building a culture focused on employee wellbeing. Michelle volunteers with Fluor Cares regularly including the Food Bank and United Way – but is most well known as her alter ego “Jackie,” the Fluor mascot, which can be seen most often at Fluor Rope Square during the Calgary Stampede. Michelle resides in Calgary with her husband and three daughters.


Victoria Shaw

Michael Koehn

Victoria Shaw is a drug benefit manager at Alberta Blue Cross. She is a licensed clinical pharmacist with the Alberta College of Pharmacy (ACP), holds a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from the University of Alberta and has obtained the designation of additional prescribing authorization from the ACP. Prior to joining Alberta Blue Cross, Victoria’s clinical practice was in the community setting providing direct patient care. During this time, she also obtained her Certificate in Travel Health from the International Society of Travel Medicine. In her current role at Alberta Blue Cross, she advises and supports stakeholders on issues related to the management of drug benefits, is an expert resource on the development of drug benefit management strategies and products and is focused on effective, cost-efficient and viable drug plans.


Durhane Wong-Rieger

Steve Sproule

Durhane Wong-Rieger is president & CEO of the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders, chair of the Consumer Advocare Network, president & CEO of the Institute for Optimizing Health Outcomes, chair of Canadian Heart Patient Alliance and member of Genome Canada Steering Committee for the Rare Disease Precision Health Initiative. Internationally, she serves as chair of Rare Disease International, board member of Asia Pacific Rare Disease International, member of the editorial board of The Patient-Patient Centred Outcomes Research, member of the Global Commission to End the Diagnosis Odyssey for Rare Diseases and member of Health Technology Assessment International Patient /Citizen Involvement Interest Group. She is also a certified health coach. Durhane has a PhD in psychology from McGill University and was a professor at the University of Windsor, Canada. She’s a trainer and frequent lecturer and author of three books and many articles.


Event Details

Fairmont Palliser Hotel
133 9th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Fairmont Palliser Hotel
Calgary's premiere hotel, the Fairmont Palliser, is admired for its stunning architecture and impressive history. Centrally located, this landmark is near the city's financial and business district, and is just a short walk away from Calgary's lively shopping scene and ars, entertainment and culture venues. The hotel offers distinctive accommodation, and guests have referred to it as both majestic and classic. Since opening on June 1, 1914, the Fairmont Palliser has delivered outstanding hospitality, and it is the top choice to celebrate special occasions and to stay during business and leisure trips. With comfortable, luxurious accommodations and a prime location, the Fairmont Palliser Hotel is where you want to be.

Fairmont Palliser Hotel

Getting there:

By bus:

• The Greyhound Bus Depot is on the same street as the hotel. To get from the station to the Fairmon Palliser, it is about a five-minute taxi ride away.

By car:

From YYC Calgary International Airport:

• Take Barlow Trail North
• Left on Airport Trail
• Deerfoot Trail South
• Right on 16th Avenue
• Right on 6th Avenue
• Left on 3rd Street SW
• Left on 9th Avenue

From the North (Edmonton):

• Take HWY-2 South Towards Calgary
• Take Memorial Dr exit, EXIT 256
• Merge onto Memorial Dr West
• Take the ramp toward 4 Ave S
• Turn slight left ontop 4 Avenue Flyover
• Left onto 1 St SE
• Right onto 10 Ave SE
• Take the 1st right onto 1 St SW
• Take the 1st right onto 9 Ave SW

From the East or West (Kananaskis):

• Take TransCanada Hwy 1 East to 16th Avenue
• Turn on Centre Street (Southbound)
• Turn right onto 6 Ave SW
• Turn left onto 3 St SW
• Turn left onto 9 Ave SW
• The Fairmont Palliser is just past 1 Street SW

From the South:

• Take Hwy 2 North, Macleod Trail Northbound
• Turn left on 10th Avenue
• Right on 1st Street SW
• Right on 9th Avenue


Valet Parking:
• Please park your vehicle in front of the hotel's main entrance on 9th Avenue. Rates extended to patrons who enjoy hotel dining outlets or facilities only.

Overnight* includes in and out access
• Sunday - Thursday, $40
• Friday - Saturday, $25

• Monday - Friday, up to 4 hours $20, more than 4 hours, $40 (full-day rate applies)*
• Saturday - Sunday, up to 4 hours $10, more than 4 hours, $15*

Prices include GST. *Rates are subject to change.

Self -Parking:
Impark lot with access off of 10th Avenue West or East or off of 9th Avenue (east of hotel). Take elevators to third floor and walk west to hotel mezzanine entrance. Please note that the hotel does not own or manage the Impark lot and prices are subject to change without notice.

Early Bird (Tuesday – Thursday, enter before 9 a.m., valid until 6 p.m.) - $5
All Day (Tuesday-Thursday, valid until 6 p.m.) - $27
All-Day Special (Monday and Friday, valid until 6 p.m.) - $18
Evenings (from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. next day) - $6
Weekends (Saturday to Sunday and holidays, 6 a.m. to 6 a.m.) - $6


Francesca Allman

Cassandra Williamson-Hopp
Katerina Galkina