Contraception access: an interview with Pamela Weir, Chief Operating Officer, Medicines360

Pamela WeirTHOUGHT LEADERS SERIES...insight from the world’s leading experts

When was Medicines360 formed? What is your mission?

Medicines360 was formed in 2009. Our mission is to expand access to quality medicines for women in the U.S. and globally.

We are a San Francisco-based nonprofit women’s health pharmaceutical company that has developed a groundbreaking approach to expand access to quality medicines for women, regardless of socioeconomic status, insurance coverage or geography.

We research the health needs of women and gaps in access and develop quality women’s products to fill those gaps.

We form strategic partnerships with companies to help distribute and market these medicines in the U.S. and globally.

We then reinvest the proceeds from those partnerships into advocacy, education, and research and development of other products to further expand access.

What are the main barriers to contraception access?

One of the key barriers for women to receiving highly effective and safe contraception is access, because of cost.

With LILETTA™ women will have expanded access to an available IUD that is safe and effective when they need or want it.

Why did you decide to develop an intrauterine device (IUD)?

Of the 6.4 million pregnancies each year, 3.2 million are unintended. Medicines360 felt that this number of unintended pregnancies was too high and that they could make a positive impact in addressing this issue.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs), including IUDs, be offered as first-line contraceptive methods for most women.

Despite this recommendation, many women who want an IUD cannot get one. Medicines360 believe expanded access with LILETTA™ is the answer to removing barriers that prevent women from getting a safe and effective IUD.

At what stage of development is the IUD currently at?

LILETTA™ (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) 52 mg was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use by women to prevent pregnancy for up to three years on February 26, 2015.

Please can you outline your partnership with pharmaceutical company Actavis?

In June 2013, Medicines360 and Actavis formed a groundbreaking partnership to expand access to the LILETTA™ IUD for IUD-appropriate women.

As part of this agreement, Actavis licensed the rights to LILETTA™ from Medicines360 and markets and distributes LILETTA™ across all sectors in the U.S. and Canada.

Medicines360 also markets LILETTA™ to the public health sector in the U.S. and Canada. Proceeds from the partnership are reinvested by Medicines360 to expand access to LILETTA™ for IUD-appropriate women in the U.S. and globally.

Could you please expand on your business model?

Medicines360 is a nonprofit women’s health pharmaceutical company. Through our unique operating model, we reinvest proceeds generated through commercial sales revenue into advocacy, education and research and development with the goal of expanding access to high-quality women’s health products in the U.S. and globally.

Your focus so far has been on an IUD. Do you have plans to develop additional products going forward?

Our goal is to further expand access our Women’s Health portfolio. We are evaluating various options.

What do you think the future holds for access to contraception and how do Medicines360 plan to add to this?

Our goal is to expand access to quality medicines for women globally. By supporting our products and partnerships everyone can play a role in expanding access to quality medicines and make a difference in the lives of women, everywhere.

We are very hopeful that now with the FDA approval of the LILETTA™ IUD – along with our efforts to expand access to a hormonal IUD marketplace - that greater numbers of women in the United States and around the world will be able to be receive an IUD.

Where can readers find more information?

They can visit our website, www.medicines360.org

About Pamela Weir

Pamela Weir is a pharmaceutical executive with over 27 years of experience building companies, subsidiaries, portfolios, brands and high performance teams. Ms. Weir has served as the Chief Operating Officer of Medicines360 since 2013 overseeing operations (Legal, Compliance, Human Resources, Finance, IT, Facilities), Strategy & Business Development, Access & Advocacy and Commercial functions. She also serves as a Board member on the Alliance Partners360 Board.

Ms. Weir’s career spans commercial functions in international and domestic marketing, communications, sales and access in addition to strategic planning, business development and operations. She has broad partnership experience with pharmaceutical and biotech companies as well as patient and physician groups. Ms. Weir has successfully launched and built products in the U.S. and all major markets internationally, while based in the U.S., Canada and Europe. In addition, she had led the development of multiple corporate strategies from discovery research through development, launch and post-launch.

Prior to joining Medicines360, Ms. Weir served as Vice President of Marketing for both Alpharma (King) Pharmaceuticals and Nycomed Pharmaceuticals, leading domestic and global teams. She also held commercial leadership positions at Bayer Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi-Aventis. Ms. Weir holds a Bachelor of Science and an MBA.

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