Julie M. Reed, the new Executive Director of the Biosimilars Forum, gives a timeline of her career in the biosimilars space and what led her to be one of the organization’s founders.
You are one of the founders of the Biosimilars Forum. How did biosimilars get you involved in this area of work?
So, I’m old and I’ve had an incredible career, where my first job was as a clinician, then as a hospital administrator and nursing home administrator. Then I moved to the pharmaceutical industry. And I’ve always been mostly on the generic drug side. And then, as I was developing my career in government affairs and politics, I was at Hospira. Hospira was one of the first biosimilar companies in the world. My CEO and Board of Directors have decided that biosimilars and creating a biosimilar pathway is a major strategic goal. And so, with my background in health care, my background in generic drugs, my work with patients, and seeing the cost of health care, it was quite an honor to be tapped on the shoulder and say, “Julie, our strategic priority is to develop a biosimilar pathway and we want you to do that.”
So I’ve been there from the beginning, not just biosimilars in the US and lobbying to get the BPCIA [Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act] past, I have also worked around the world to help develop the pathways and launch biosimilars in Europe and Japan and wherever no one knew what a biosimilar was; it was a new word. Can you imagine? And we had to tell everyone what that meant and what it was about and how the policies needed to change.
I was, I hope, a driving force and continue to be a driving force for this to happen. So that’s one of my passions, and it’s been an incredible amount of fun.