Face to Face Drug Plan Management Forum

December 15, 2021 | Virtual event


Please note that all times listed below are in Eastern Time and are subject to change.


11:00 - 11:30 AM

Drug claims trends and cost drivers

This session will take a look at drug claim trends in Canada Life’s block of business between 2019-20 with an additional comparison to 2015. Join us in a discussion of the drivers that led to those trends and solutions to manage drug spending and keep drug plans affordable and sustainable into the future.

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Julia Fiorino, pharmacy consultant, drug strategy team, Canada Life

Barb Martinez, national practice leader, drug solutions, Canada Life


11:30 - 12:00 PM

Ensuring private payers get value for money from their drug plans

While there are a lot of exciting innovations in drug development, it often comes at a high price. As a result, cost-effectiveness analysis is slowly being used by private payers to help inform their managed formularies. Estimates of cost-effectiveness have traditionally been calculated with the public payer in mind, which primarily takes into account costs borne by the public payer. These estimates are not relevant to private payers because their objectives differ due to the population they cover and the benefits they value in a drug. Private drug plans need to consider things like productivity, impacts on disability claims, etc. This session will discuss how private payers are evolving and relying on more relevant economic data in their evidence-informed decision-making.

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Daria O'Reilly, lead health economist, pharmacy consulting, health benefits management, TELUS Health


12:00 - 12:30 PM

4 key insights driving the future of PSPs and the impact on drug plans

For almost two years during the pandemic, we’ve had to manage massive change, shift in digital technology, overall health-care delivery and its impact on patient treatment. What are the current trends? How has the pandemic impacted patient support programs? And what does this mean for payors and plan sponsors? This session will break down the challenges facing PSPs in Canada, share key insights into the future of PSPs and will explore the impact and challenges ahead.

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Sandra Anderson, senior vice-president, commercialization and strategy, Innomar Strategies


12:30 – 12:45 PM



12:45 – 1:15 PM

Diversity, equity and inclusion considerations in plan design

If an employer truly wants to embrace inclusion, all elements of drug and benefits plan design should leave no employee out. This session will explore drug plan considerations for plan sponsors that will leave them better equipped to assess their corporate commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

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Joanne Jung, pharmacy practice leader, Willis Towers Watson

This session has been made possible by Novo Nordisk.


1:15 – 2:15 PM

Panel: How the evolution of pharmacy impacts plan benefits plan costs

Pharmacy plays a critical role in health benefits management and its role has evolved to much more than dispensing prescriptions. Not only do pharmacies impact the cost of medications via programs such as preferred pharmacy networks, but pharmacists are also valued health-care practitioners that provide specialized services such as health coaching, medication and case management that can directly impact the bottom line. This panel discussion will explore how pharmacy can be a valued partner in managing benefits plan costs.

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Uchenwa Genus, senior director, drug plan solutions, Shoppers Drug Mart

Ned Pojskic, vice-president, pharmacy benefits management, Green Shield Canada

Joyce Wong, director, clinical services, Express Scripts Canada


2:15 – 2:45 PM

The impact of mental health issues on drugs and plan sustainability

Mental health issues in Canada are complex and one of the key health issues of our time. For working Canadians, the stress and dynamics of the workplace make this an even greater challenge. In this session, we’ll review the mental health drug landscape, who’s driving increased drug claims and how employers play a critical role in supporting employees on their health journey.

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Nida Mian, senior strategist, Sun Life 


2:45 – 3:15 PM

The Canadian National Strategy for Drugs for Rare Diseases: What plan sponsors need to know

Rare diseases lead to suffering for patients and their families and fewer than 10 per cent of rare diseases have available treatments. Although research and new innovations are bringing hope, they are also raising concerns about the high cost of new treatments and payers’ ability to fund them.

This session will provide an overview of rare diseases, the risks related to the development of innovative therapies and the funding challenges. It will also include an update on the development of the federal National Strategy for Drugs for Rare Diseases.


Michelle Boudreau, executive director, office of pharmaceutical management strategies, Health Canada



Please email Megan Lepage