Past Event: Face to Face: Drug Plan Management Toronto

December 05, 2018
Arcadian Court, Toronto

The Face-to-Face Drug Plan Management Forum is the industry’s most popular drug benefits conference.

It features informative presentations, panels and employer case studies.


Plan Sponsor/Employer Price = $129 + HST

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 Wendy Morrison, editor, conferences.

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


CE credits will be offered at this event.


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7:00-7:55 a.m.
Breakfast and registration

7:55 - 8:00 a.m.
Opening Remarks

8:00 - 8:50 a.m
Patient Support Programs – Filling in the gaps
Patient support programs, developed by pharmaceutical companies, fill in gaps in the healthcare system. Why are they needed and how do they differ from insurer case management programs? Does overlap in their services cause confusion to patients and physicians? Is there a way to integrate services to provide better support and improved health outcomes? How will programs evolve in the future? This panel will discuss these issues, as well as how these programs can benefit private health plans.

John Anacleto, director of payer relations, McKesson Canada
Sandra Anderson, vice-president,consulting and business development, Innomar Strategies
Tania Gaetano, senior manager, program operations, Abbvie Care

John Anacleto's participation made possible by Amgen.

8:50 - 9:20 a.m.
Practical considerations for integrating medical cannabis into a health benefits plan
There has been much discussion concerning the benefits of medical cannabis but what are some of the key aspects to keep in mind when building it into a health benefits plan? This presentation aims to inform attendees on the practical considerations to best manage the introduction of medical cannabis including: ensuring appropriate use, reimbursement and claim controls, claim submission options, analytics on utilization and uptake, along with legal and workplace requirements.

Jason Kennedy, director,operations, TELUS Health
Matt Gaudry, director, product support and management, Great-West Life

[Download Jason Kennedy and Matt Gaudry Presentation]

9:20 - 9:50 a.m.
Should there be "optional drug classes" in today’s drug plans?
Several categories of drugs are optional for a plan sponsor to include or exclude in their drug plans. Some examples of these include vaccines, sexual dysfunction, fertility, smoking cessation and obesity treatments. Is it still relevant for plan sponsors to choose whether they are covered or not? Why are these categories handled differently and should they be? Join the panel as it examines whether it’s time to upgrade these categories to standard drug plan inclusions.

Suzanne Nagy,national drug consulting leader, Mercer Canada
Dr. Megha Poddar, endocrinologist & internal medicine specialist,

[Download Suzanne Nagy Presentation]

9:50 - 10:20 a.m.
Networking Break

10:20 - 11:30 a.m.
The role of pharmacogenetics in private drug plans
What are pharmacogenetics and how do they benefit private drug plans? What personalized tests are available and how do physicians use them in their practice? What are the potential risks or challenges of implementing them in your plan? This panel will provide an update on the Canadian pharmacogenetic landscape and equip you with information you need to ask the right questions.

Mark Faiz, ceo, Personalized Prescribing Inc.
Julie Gaudry, senior director, group insurance, RBC Insurance
Dr. Sidney Kennedy, professor of psychiatry, University of Toronto
Priscilla Po, director, drug plan management, employer health solutions Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw

Dr. Sidney Kennedy's participation made possible by Lundbeck.

11:30 - 12:00 p.m.
Case Study
Moving toward a sustainable drug plan
In September 2017, the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association Employee Benefits trust introduced substantial changes to the plan’s drug coverage. Karen will provide an overview of the process leading up to the changes, the implementation journey and lessons learned along the way. It’s still a work in progress but it is yielding the anticipated results.

Karen O'Connell, director, governance & plan management CADA 360 Employee Benefits Plan

[Download Karen O'Connell Presentation]

12:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks
CDT Speakers



John Anacleto

John Anacleto

John Anacleto is the Director of Payer Relations with McKesson Canada and is responsible for various private and public payer engagements, reimbursement navigation consultation for Patient Support Programs and Disease Management Programs. He has over eleven years of experience working in the pharmaceutical industry serving multiple pharmaceutical manufacturers and government institutions. Prior to his current role, John was with TELUS Health Analytics, managing a team that provided consultation on the Canadian reimbursement landscape and insurance market trends. Client engagements included providing strategic input on how to engage the private and public insurance industries in Canada and data to support market access strategies. He has also written several articles on access to insurance coverage in Canada, plan design and longitudinal trends in private plans, and plan sponsor health benefit trends.

Sandra Anderson

Sean Sandra Anderson

Sandra joined Innomar in 2005. With more than 20 years of pharmaceutical and clinical experience, she oversees a diverse team of 60 associates focused on regulatory, reimbursement, health economics, market access, business development, marketing, and stakeholder relations. Sandra’s taken on multiple leadership roles at Innomar, that include launching and growing the pharmacovigilance team, designing and leading the training department, leading patient support programs and building the stakeholder relations division.


Mark Faiz

Sean McKelvey

Mark Faiz, professional engineer-turned-entrepreneur, is a serial businessman with over 30 years of experience in the health and benefits industry. Having grown and sold businesses in the mutual funds, pensions, and benefits industries, Mark is somewhat of a renaissance man. Mark’s newest venture at Personalized Prescribing is focused on medication incompatibility, and the simple testing that can prevent unwanted and dangerous side effects caused by medications.



Julie Gaudry

Sean Sandra Anderson

As Head of the Group Life & Health business, Julie leads a team with overall responsibility for the product development and strategic direction for RBC Insurance’s Group Benefit Solutions (GBS). With a focus on innovation and thought-leadership, the team is committed to differentiating RBC Insurance through product and service enhancements that make it easier for our clients to lead a healthy lifestyle, manage their benefits programs, and return to health if faced with a serious medical condition. Prior to joining RBC Insurance in 2014, Julie spent eight years in Human Resources at RBC, responsible for the design, financial management, and communication of the benefits and wellness programs and the financial education and planning strategy for RBC employees and retirees in Canada. And before joining RBC in 2006, Julie was practicing as a Doctor of Chiropractic, where as a core part of her patient care, she was an advocate for healthy living, encouraging her patients to make healthy lifestyle choices. Julie holds a Bachelor of Kinesiology from McMaster University and a Doctor of Chiropractic from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. Outside of work, Julie enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, is an avid volunteer for youth sports, and is a five-time marathoner who continues to love running for both the physical and mental health benefits.

Matt Gaudry

Sean Sandra Anderson

Matt Gaudry has 15 years’ experience in the financial services industry of which 10 years is within the Great-West Life Group Life and Health space specifically on prescription drugs. As Director, Product Support and Management, Matt manages a team that is responsible for maintenance, support and product development for existing Group Life and Health products in the Great-West Life product portfolio.

Jason Kennedy

Sean McKelvey

Jason Kennedy is a licensed pharmacist in the province of Ontario, and received his pharmacy degree in 2004 from the University of Alberta. He joined TELUS Health in 2009 as a Clinical Pharmacist, where he assisted in program and formulary creation and maintenance. Working with the formulary team at TELUS Health, Jason participated in new drug and clinical review activities. In 2010, he moved into the sales team, where he worked closely with carriers to deliver strategic programs for plan sponsors. In 2014, Jason moved into the role of Director of Operations overseeing operations and client support for non-Quebec based clients. Currently Jason leads all Canadian operations teams for health benefits which includes clinical pharmacists, formulary and pricing, and pharmacy audit. He continues to practice pharmacy in the community setting.

Dr. Sidney H. Kennedy

	Sidney Kennedy

Dr. Sidney H. Kennedy is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, Director of the Centre for Depression & Suicide Studies, St. Michael’s Hospital, and a Scientist at Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and Krembil Research Institute, Toronto, Canada. Dr. Kennedy is the lead investigator for a large depression biomarker initiative, the Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND). He has published extensively on new drug evaluation, neuroimaging and neurostimulation therapies, personality factors in depression, antidepressant effects on sexual function and treatment guidelines for Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder. Dr. Kennedy is the founding chair of the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) and co-lead in Guidelines for MDD and Bipolar Disorder. He has published more than 400 peer reviewed publications and 11 books on depression and related topics.

Suzanne Nagy

Karen O'Connell

Suzanne Nagy is the National Drug Consulting Leader at Mercer Canada, overseeing Mercer’s Drug Plan Management Specialty Practice consisting of specialized consulting and solution development. She provides leadership and knowledge to a team of expert consultants that assist employers manage their drug benefit plans. Based in Mercer’s Toronto office, Suzanne brings over 30 years’ experience in the areas of specialty pharmaceuticals, manufacturer patient support programs, chronic disease management, specialty pharmacy, preferred pharmacy networks (PPNs) and private/public payer markets. Suzanne started her career as a registered nurse at a large regional trauma centre in the emergency department. She spent the next 10 years working overseas in the UK, Australia and the United States in various clinical roles with increasing leadership responsibility. While in the US, she specialized in the management of specialty medications administered outside of a hospital setting and held sales and leadership positions at a specialty drug pharmacy and medical equipment manufacturer. In 2001, she returned to Ontario to accept a position at Bayshore Healthcare where she was instrumental in establishing the organization’s specialty Patient Support Programs, specialty pharmacy business and Insurer Preferred Pharmacy Network. Suzanne is a Registered Nurse, holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Nursing. Suzanne is passionate about modernizing drug benefit plans to ensure sustainability into the future. Outside of work she is Mom to a teenage daughter, is an avid traveler and has a specialty interest in art and antiques.

Karen O'Connell

Karen O'Connell

Karen has over 20 years’ experience in employee benefits insurance. She started her career in New Brunswick as the Health & Dental Claims manager of a consulting & third-party administration firm. When the company’s services were expanding to Ontario, Karen worked on the development of a new claims payment system and set up the Claims department. After several years in a claims management role, Karen moved into the consulting side of the same firm. Karen has extensive consulting experience combined with product development and marketing of financial products and administration services to both public and private sector organizations. One of Karen’s notable achievements was the development of the first group long-term care plan in Canada for the Retired Teachers of Ontario. Karen joined the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association in 2014 and today is the Director of Governance & Plan Management. Karen is responsible for the management of the CADA 360 Employee Benefits Plan which insures over 70,000 new car and truck dealership employees plus their dependents from coast-to-coast under a multi-employer trust. Karen is passionate about sustainable benefits and meeting employee needs into the future.

Priscilla Po

Sean McKelvey

Priscilla is the Director, Drug Plan Management, Employer Health Solutions at Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw. In this role, Priscilla is responsible for managing and providing strategic directions on the HealthWATCH for Business® drug plan, with a focus on clinical management and product development. Prior to joining the Loblaw group of companies, Priscilla spent over 10 years at Express Scripts Canada with roles of increasing responsibility focused on pharmacy benefit management programs and services. She has deep expertise in private payer reimbursements and both traditional and specialty pharmacy businesses. Priscilla also has a vast knowledge and experience in the pharmacy industry. She started her clinical practice as the oncology pharmacist in the Princess Margaret Hospital and later in the medical group in Eli Lilly Canada. More recently upon receiving her doctorate degree, she has teaching affiliations with the Faculty of Pharmacy in University of Waterloo and the University of Hong Kong.

Dr. Megha Poddar

Dr. Poddar

Dr. Poddar is a board certified Endocrinologist and Internal Medicine specialist. She has additional training in Bariatric and Obesity Medicine from McMaster University and is certified by the American board of obesity medicine. She runs a clinical practice in St.Catharines and the Halton region and is focused on general endocrinology and both the medical and surgical management of patients with obesity.



For information on the speakers, please contact Wendy Morrison, Conference Editor, Benefits Canada

Arcadian Court

Originally opened in 1929, the Arcadian Court has a deep and rich history as a Toronto institution. It has hosted many monumental events including Toronto’s first auto show; the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s first radio broadcasts; performances by entertainment legends such as Liberace; and Sotheby’s first auction outside of Britain, to name just a few.

Arcadian Court


401 Bay Street 
Simpson Tower, 8th Floor
Toronto, ON
M5H 2Y4
(416) 364-1211

Minutes away from the Toronto Eaton Centre

For more information, please contact Emma Ramsey, events and registration specialist
For sponsorship information contact Francesca Allman senior national account manager

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