Past Event: Face to Face: Drug Plan Management (Vancouver)

May 01, 2018
Fairmont Waterfront Hotel

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

New to this year’s event: A fast-paced panel that will cover a variety of hot topics in drug plan management. Sample topics to be discussed include: Is drug pooling, in its current format, working? Is the Hep C spike over? Did PCSK9 break the bank as predicted? What does BC need to know about national pharmacare right now? What’s hot in PLA’s?


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.

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

TwitterJoin the conversation! Tweet your questions @BenCanMag #F2FVAN18

Face to Face Vancouver

May 1, 2018
Fairmont Waterfront Hotel

7:40 - 8:35 a.m.
Breakfast and registration

8:35 - 8:40 a.m.
Opening remarks

8:40 - 9:10 a.m.
Government policies and reforms – their potential impact on private payers and their stakeholders
As part of their efforts to improve the accessibility and affordability of prescription drugs, governments across Canada are engaged in major drug policy reform – including tougher federal price controls, a strengthened pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance and the recently-announced Advisory Council on the implementation of National Pharmacare. These changes are likely to have a major impact on health benefits plans. How can we prepare?

Wayne Critchley, senior associate, health and life sciences practice, Global Public Affairs Inc. 

(Session made possible by Amgen Canada Inc.)

[Download the Presentation]

9:10 - 10:05 a.m.
Panel: Government reforms and the impact on private drug plans
Following the opening presentation, panellists will discuss key policy and pricing issues, while sharing their thoughts on how these changes might impact health benefits plans.

Topics to be discussed:

  • PMPRB reform
  • pCPA
  • PLA’s
  • Pharmacare

Suzanne Lepage,
private health plan strategist

Wayne Critchley,
senior associate, health and life sciences practice, Global Public Affairs Inc. 
Joe Farago,
executive director, health-care innovation, Innovative Medicines Canada
Michael Law,
 Canada research chair in access to medicines, Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health
Marilee Mark, president, Marilee Mark Consulting Inc.
Ben Peacock,
director of pricing, contracting and private payers, value and access, Amgen Canada Inc.

[Session not available for download]

10:05 - 10:35 a.m.
Networking break

10:35 - 11:30 a.m.
Panel: Hot topics in drug plan management
This fast-paced panel that will feature timed speed rounds to cover a variety of hot topics in drug plan management. 

Topics to be discussed:

  • Drug pooling
  • The Hep C spike
  • PCSK9
  • Biosimilars
  • Opioids
  • Medical marijuana

Suzanne Lepage,
private health plan strategist

Gail Attara,
president and chief executive officer, Gastrointestinal Society
Kevin O'Connor,
director of federal and private healthcare, Janssen Inc.
Mark Rolnick,
vice-president, payor partnerships and plan sponsor innovation, Shoppers Drug Mart
Meghan Vallis,
senior vice-president, consulting, Apri Insurance Services Inc.

(Panel discussion supported by Sanofi.)

[Session not available for download]

11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Private drug plan cost drivers and forecast
Gain new insight into the factors that have contributed to growth in the private drug plans and look into where we’re likely to see plans headed in the future.  

Brad Millson,
principal, health access and outcomes, IQVIA

[Session not available for download]

12:00 p.m.
Closing remarks

HBS Speakers


Gail Attara

Gail Attara is the president and chief executive officer of the Gastrointestinal Society, serving for twenty-two years. Attara’s motto, ‘the patient comes first,’ directs her resolve for patient-focused health care and commitment to increasing awareness about the seriousness of gastrointestinal and liver illnesses. Attara is on the CADTH Patient Liaison Forum and the local organizing committee for HTAi Vancouver. Attara is the co-founder of Advocacy Boot Camp Inc., where she fulfils her goal of expanding the network of knowledgeable patient advocates working in health.




Wayne Critchley

Wayne Critchley is senior associate with Global Public Affairs’ health and life sciences practice, providing counsel to leading biopharmaceutical companies and other health policy stakeholders. Critchley’s track record of success in the public sector includes serving as executive director of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board from 1990 to 2005 and as a vice-president of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health in 2009.  His private sector experience includes providing advice and counsel in one of Canada’s leading law firms and he is widely recognized as an expert in pharmaceutical pricing, reimbursement and market access.  Critchley is regularly called upon to write and present on Canadian pharmaceutical issues. He has been a member of the Board of the Canadian Organization of Rare Disorders since 2013 and currently serves as chair. He is active with the Canadian Club of Ottawa where he served as president from 2012-2013.



Joe Farago

Joe Farago is the executive director of health-care innovation for Innovative Medicines Canada. 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 affect 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 industry’s efforts in taking a more proactive approach to addressing today’s issues 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 Ltd. in 2007, where he was instrumental in establishing and building the Canadian organization into a market leader. Farago attended Carleton University, graduating in 1989 with a bachelor of science degree.




Michael Law

Michael Law is the Canada research chair in access to medicines at the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, in the school of population and public health, at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on pharmaceutical policy, including work on prescription drug affordability, generic drug pricing, evaluating pharmaceutical policy changes, and private drug coverage. His research results have been published in several leading medical journals and have received extensive Canadian and international media coverage. He is the recipient of both the Institute for Health Services and Policy Research Article of the Year award and the Labelle Lectureship at McMaster University. He obtained his doctorate in health policy and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University.




Michael Law

Marilee Mark is the president of Marilee Mark Consulting Inc. She is an innovator and thought leader in the Canadian group insurance market with expertise in organizational health, benefit design, product, marketing, and strategy. After many years at the executive level with large health insurers in Canada, she formed her own consulting practice. Mark is a strong advocate for more effective integration of public and private healthcare in Canada.




Brad Millson

Brad Millson is principal of the health access and outcomes consulting group at IQVIA. He leads projects to deliver market access strategy and real-world evidence based solutions for the pharmaceutical industry and its stakeholders. He joined the company in 2013, bringing his global expertise in pharmaceutical brand management, strong medical science training and strategic problem solving to the team. Millson has over 15 years of experience in the life sciences industry globally, across government and private sectors Prior to joining IQVIA, he led the investment attraction function for life sciences at the department of foreign affairs and international trade, assisting global life science companies entering the Canadian market. He spent several years in the US, at a biotech strategy consulting firm developing solutions in new product launch, marketing, sales, and business development for the global headquarters of top pharmaceutical and biotech companies, spanning key therapeutic areas such as oncology and immunology.He has a master of business and science from Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, CA, and holds a bachelor of science in physiology from McGill University. 



Kevin O'Connor

Kevin O'Connor is the director of federal and private healthcare at Janssen Inc, which. is a division of Johnson & Johnson that markets medications for a wide number of diseases including autoimmune disorders, oncology, HIV, mental health, diabetes and women’s health. O'Connor has held positions in sales, marketing, new business development and government relations. He has worked within the private insurance market for over ten years. Currently, he has a focus on Canadian health policy and the impact on employer sponsored benefits.  



Ben Peacock

Ben Peacock is the director of pricing, contracting and private payers for Amgen Canada’s value, access and policy department. As such, he oversees reporting to and engagement with Canada’s pricing regulator (the Patented Medicines Prices Review Board), contracting with governmental payers (including via the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance), private payers and hospitals and hospital buying groups, and engagement with stakeholders in the private payer space including carriers, adjudicators, brokers and advisors. Peacock holds a bachelor of pacific and Asian Studies from the University of Victoria and a master of business administration from London Business School. He has lived and worked in the biopharmaceutical industry in Japan, the UK, Australia and Canada.

Mark Rolnick

Mark Rolnick is the vice-president of payor partnerships and plan sponsor innovation at Shoppers Drug Mart. In this role, he 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 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 has a master of science in health economics and a master of business administration.

Meghan Vallis

Meghan Vallis is the senior vice-president of consulting at Apri Insurance Services Inc. Responsible for leading the national consulting tem, Vallis guides Apri’s strategic initiatives and consultant’s development activities and is based in their Vancouver office. Vallis has over a decade of experience in the group benefits industry where she worked in a number of different areas of the business. She knows benefits and is passionate about helping companies succeed by leveraging technology to transform the HR experience from administrative tasks to a trusted strategic advisor. Vallis is secretary and board member of the BC chapter of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists, holds a continuing education professional compliant certified employee benefit specialist (CEBS) designation and is considering the CEBS fellow. When she’s not at work you’ll find her at Sun Peaks skiing, trying not to fall off of her bike, or living vicariously through other people’s pets.


For information on the speakers, please contact Lauren Harris, Conference Editor, Benefits Canada

Event Location: Fairmont Waterfront, Vancouver

Contemporary accommodations bring more fun to travelers staying at 489-room The Fairmont Waterfront, a luxury hotel set in a prime location in Vancouver where lots of fun destinations are within reach. A wide array of delicious food choices are featured at ARC Restaurant + Bar, with guests and locals invited to indulge in the local and handcrafted cuisine offered throughout the day


900 Canada Place Way, Vancouver, BC V6C3L5

For more information about the conference accommodations please contact Joanne Boccia at



Francesca Allman

Lauren Harris
Joanne Boccia

Join the conversation! @BenCanMag #MentalHealth17