IHE Biosimilars Invitational Forum: Key People


Ms. Julia Brown

Ms. Julia Brown profile imageJulia Brown has been with Janssen Inc. for 14 years and is currently the Vice President of Government Affairs and Market Access. Previous roles at Janssen include National Director of Government and Community Relations, Director of Health Economics and Reimbursement, and Director of Government Relations, Ontario/Atlantic.

Julia also serves as the Past-President of the Canadian Association for Healthcare Reimbursement (CAHR) and has sat on the CAHR Board of Directors for 12 years. She served as a Chief of Staff in the Ontario Provincial Government from 1997 to 2003 in the portfolios of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Management Board and Natural Resources, and as an Executive Assistant to the Member from Bruce-Grey from 1995 to 1997. Julia has additional experience in the Federal Government, the not-for-profit sector, and a manufacturing firm, and holds a BA in Political Science from Carleton University

Dr. Chris Henshall

Dr. Chris Henshall profile imageDr. Henshall is a Professor in the Health Economics Research Group at Brunel University and works as an independent consultant in health, research, and innovation policy. Previous appointments in Canada include Board Director of the Alberta Research and Innovation Authority (ARIA) from 2010 to 2015, and Board Director of Alberta Innovates Health Solutions from 2015 to 2016.

Dr. Henshall has held senior positions in the British Government and university systems. From 2005 to 2010, he was Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of York with responsibility for enterprise and innovation and links between the University, regional and national government, and industry. Prior to that he was Director of the Science and Engineering Base Group in the Office of Science and Technology in the Department of Trade and Industry in London, where he was responsible for around $5 billion US annually of government support for research and innovation.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Henshall served as Deputy Director of Research and Development in the Department of Health and the National Health Service (NHS), where he led the creation of an NHS R&D budget and was closely involved in establishing the NHS Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Program and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). Dr. Henshall was the founding President of Edmonton-based Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) and the founder and Chair from 2004 to 2007 and 2010 to 2016 of its HTA Policy Forum, which brings together senior figures from life sciences companies and public health systems from around the world.

Mr. Frédéric Lavoie

Mr. Frederic Lavoie profile imageFrédéric Lavoie obtained his Master's Degree in Economics in 1995 from Université du Québec à Montréal. Until 1998, he worked as a health economist at the Centre for the Analysis of Cost-Effective Care within the Division of Clinical Epidemiology, a research unit affiliated to McGill University. In this position, he worked on and authored different papers on economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals. In 1997, Frédéric was part of a working group of researchers mandated by the Government of Quebec to evaluate the economic impact of the proposed tobacco legislation.

Frédéric began his career in the pharmaceutical industry when he joined Pfizer Canada in 1998, where he occupied various roles of increasing responsibilities. He joined Novartis Oncology in October 2014 as Head of Health Policy and Patient Access, and returned to Pfizer as Vice President of Access & Government Relations in March 2016.

Frédéric graduated in 2007 as a PhD in Biomedical Sciences under the supervision of Dr. Jacques LeLorier at Université de Montréal. He also serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care.

Mr. Eric Lun

Mr. Eric Lun profile imageIn his current role within the Medical Beneficiary and Pharmaceutical Services Division (MBPSD) in British Columbia, Eric Lun leads the Drug Intelligence and Optimization branch of the British Columbia Ministry of Health. The branch is responsible for determining which drugs are included in the BC PharmaCare formulary through the national Common Drug Review (CDR-CADTH) process, the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) negotiation process, and the provincial Drug Benefit Council (DBC) review process. The branch also is responsible for adjudicating drug funding requests through Special Authority, supporting the optimal and appropriate use of drugs in BC (e.g., supporting prescribing guidelines and academic detailing), and leading other specialty programs and initiatives.

Prior to joining MBPSD in 2007, Eric worked with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority as Regional Coordinator, Medication Use Management. Eric has also worked as a financial research analyst for the biotech and healthcare sector (TD Securities), as a clinical pharmacist (Vancouver General Hospital), a Drug Use Evaluation pharmacist (University of Alberta Hospital), and a pharmacy lecturer (University of Technology, Jamaica).

Ms. Laura McIver

Ms. Laura McIver profile imageLaura McIver is the Chief Pharmacist for Healthcare Improvement Scotland, the national healthcare improvement organization for Scotland. Healthcare Improvement Scotland was established to advance improvement in healthcare and has a vital role in supporting healthcare providers to deliver safer, more effective, and more personcentered care.

Laura has held a variety of posts in the hospital sector including Chief Pharmacist to an NHS board, which allowed her to redesign the hospital pharmacy service to strengthen its focus on patients and maximize the pharmacy team’s contribution to the safe and effective use of medicines.

In 2002, Laura joined the Scottish Government implementation team for the National Pharmacy Strategy. In 2005, Laura was appointed Chief Pharmacist to Scottish Medicines Consortium, providing clinical and cost-effective advice to NHS Scotland for all new medicines and, in 2012, Laura was appointed to her current post.

Mr. Dan Palfrey

Mr. Dan Palfrey profile imageDan Palfrey is a senior consultant working with the Institute of Health Economics. In previous roles, Dan has held progressive leadership positions with a multinational pharmaceutical organization in Market Research, Sales, Marketing, Product Management, and Government Relations, and most recently was a Vice President with one of Canada's leading Electronic Medical Record (EMR) companies. Dan has Master of Public Health and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Alberta, and is a past recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Award.

Dr. Dawn Richards

Dr. Dawn Richards profile imageDawn Richards, PhD, is the founder of Five02 Labs Inc, a boutique consulting firm that offers clients a range of science- and patient-related services. Principally amongst its service offerings are: writing and communications (grants, manuscripts, corporate materials, lay language), incorporation of the patient perspective, and developing working relationships with patients and patient organizations. Clients include academics, not-forprofit organizations, and pharmaceutical and biotech companies. With a PhD (Analytical Chemistry) from the University of Alberta, Dawn has worked over the past 15 years in roles ranging from bench scientist, to operations manager, to business development manager. Her diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis ten years ago instigated her career journey to intertwine her passion for science and make the most of her diagnosis.

As a patient advocate and volunteer, Dawn is Vice President of the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance, a Research Ambassador for the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research), and a member of The BMJ’s Patient Panel Reviewers, and was the first Patient Advisor of the Canadian Medical Association’s Wait Time Alliance. She advocates for arthritis awareness, access to treatment, the inclusion of patients in decision-making and as research collaborators, and the importance of research.

Dr. Sandy Sehdev

Dr. Sandy Sehdev profile imageDr. Sehdev attended medical school at the University of Ottawa and had subsequent training in medical oncology at the University of Toronto and The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (1991).

He worked at The William Osler Health System, serving a large Toronto area suburban community for 25 years (until 2016), and while there was chief of the Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee (5 years), and long term lead of the clinical trials program (oncology) and continuing medical education (oncology). He was a past lead of CME for the Community Oncologists of Metropolitan Toronto (COMET), and a past Director of the Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Canada. He is a current co-director and founding member of the Physician Alliance for Cancer Control and Treatment (Canada), an oncologist led advocacy coalition.

Dr. Sehdev is currently a medical oncologist at The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre and Lecturer at the University of Ottawa, focusing on the treatment of breast, genitourinary cancers, and melanoma. His interests included advocacy, medical education, and applications of technology in medicine.

Dr. Carter Thorne

Dr. Carter Thorne profile imageDr. Thorne is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, and is on the Consultant Staff at Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ontario, where he is Chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Director of The Arthritis Program; the latter is a unique inter-professional care program established to optimize outcomes for people who have arthritis and other rheumatic disorders. He is sought for his expertise in developing outcome-based clinical Programs, not only in Arthritis Care, but also Shared Care in a Comprehensive Musculoskeletal Program, Wound Management, and NeuroRehab/Stroke Care.

He is active in Clinical Research as Principal Investigator with The Arthritis Program Research Group Inc. As part of a strategic interest in identifying ‘Best Practices’, he has established an Early Arthritis Clinic, collaborating with a national initiative (CATCH, of which he is Operations Director), and an Osteoporosis Intervention Clinic. He sits on the Steering and Scientific Committee of the Ontario Best Practices Research Initiative, a collaborative attempt among stakeholders to describe and disseminate outcomes and best practices in the management of Rheumatoid Arthritis. He was an active Investigator and participant in the successful Canadian Rheumatology Research Consortium and served as Secretary-Treasurer, until its conclusion in 2014. He is a founding member of the Ontario Rheumatology Association and Past-President (2006 to 2010). He is past President of the Canadian Rheumatology Association (2012 to 2014). He is past Secretary-Treasurer of PANLAR, and has served on the Steering committee of CARE, a Europeanbased group interested in the non-pharmacologic management of arthritis.

Dr. Thorne recently presented the Canadian Rheumatology Association position statement on Biosimilars at a Health Canada meeting (March 20, 2017).

Dr. Thomas Walters

Dr. Thomas Walters profile imageDr. Walters graduated from medicine at the University of Western Australia, and completed his training in Paediatric Gastroenterology at the Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, with a fellowship in Paediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease and post-graduate training in Clinical Epidemiology. He is currently Co-Director of the SickKids Paediatric Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Programme in Toronto. He has a broad range of clinical research interests related to the aetiology, manifestations, and outcomes in children and adolescents with IBD.

He has extensive experience in developing data management systems and collection platforms; and is the founding Director of the Data Co-ordinating Centre for both PRO-KIIDS, a multi-centre Paediatric IBD Research Network fully funded by the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America, NEOPICS, an international collaborative originating from SickKids Toronto investigating IBD in the very young, and IMAGEKIDS, an international multi-centre study developing standardized reporting tools for MR enterography in Paediatric IBD.

Dr. Walters’s clinical research interests are broadly focused around the inflammatory bowel diseases, particularly on projects related to phenotyping, genetics, and longitudinal therapeutic outcomes. He is a recognized expert in the analysis of growth impairment related to IBD. His combined background in clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, database design, and management has resulted in him leading the development of a number of data platforms in North America and internationally that support numerous ongoing multicenter clinical research endeavours in Paediatric IBD. He is the founding and ongoing Director of the Data Co-ordinating Centre for the recently established Canadian Children Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Network, a joint partnership with CIHR and the CHiLD Foundation.