Canadian Leadership Council on Drug Plan Partnerships

May 2, 2023 | Arcadian Court

All times listed below are in Eastern Time.

May 2, 2023

8:00 – 9:15 AM:


9:15 – 9:30 AM:

Introductions and opening remarks


Francesca Allman, director of sales, Benefits Canada

Suzanne Lepage, private health plan strategist

9:30 – 10:00 AM:

Hot topics in drug benefits

This session will be an engaging discussion that will bring together a broad range of group perspectives as we explore emerging trends, their potential impacts and the upcoming year in the world of drug benefits. We encourage open and lively conversation with the goal of understanding benefit advisor and plan sponsor perspectives on key issues shaping the industry.


Suzanne Lepage, private health plan strategist

This session has been made possible by AbbVie.

10:00 – 10:30 AM:

Networking break

10:30 – 11:00 AM:

Is now the time to go “all in” on biosimilars? Let’s talk drug benefits and budget management

This session will explore the value of a robust biosimilar market in Canada including the current drug policy landscape, updates on the Canadian experience and insight on a plan members journey through a switch. The discussion will focus on whether now is the time to embrace the opportunity for biosimilars as a safe and effective mechanism to address growing budget pressures and expand benefits options for plan sponsors.


Kirby Smith, director, private market, Pfizer Canada

11:00 – 11:30 AM:

Are health benefit plans keeping up with the need for companion diagnostics? 

This session will look at currently available services for genetic screening in cancer and companion diagnostics. It will examine the growing demand for these tests, how these services can be reimbursed or funded by employer-sponsored health plans and what plan design changes may be needed to keep up with this innovation.


Johnny Ma, president and chief operating officer, Mapol Inc.

This session has been made possible by AstraZeneca Canada.

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM:


12:30 – 1:30 PM:

Driving plan sponsor value through innovation 

This interactive session will focus on how private market stakeholders can drive innovative solutions in the private drug coverage market to ensure its value for plan sponsors. Topics discussed will include how the future of private drug plan coverage can be shaped looking at access to innovative therapies, spreading plan sponsor risk to help with plan sustainability, collaborative partnerships and innovative approaches for sustainable health benefits. What will good private drug coverage plans look like?


Joe Farago, executive director, private payers and investment, Innovative Medicines Canada

This session has been made possible by Amgen Canada and Innovative Medicines Canada.

1:30 – 2:00 PM:

Obesity – A health-care priority

In this session we will discuss obesity, a chronic complex condition impacting a large proportion of the population and address current treatment gaps. We will also provide insight into clinically meaningful benefits of new treatments in the obesity space and the importance of access to these treatments through employee benefit plans.


Rachel Anisman, medical advisor, Novo Nordisk

Kanza Manzoor, senior manager, patient access, Novo Nordisk Canada

2:00 – 2:30 PM:

Wrap-up group discussion


Suzanne Lepage, private health plan strategist