The Galien Forum USA 2019

Life science companies: public health institutions or black hats?


Scott Gottlieb, former U.S. FDA Commissioner, and Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have worn many hats, with their careers spanning academia, medicine, the private sector, not-for-profits, and public service.  

Scott Gottlieb’s record as U.S. FDA Commissioner is viewed as among the most productive since passage of the original Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act in 1938. During his tenure he accelerated generic drug approvals, laid the groundwork for a new drug evaluation office, modernized the review process for new gene and cell therapies, was a vocal critic of the rebate system, led the crackdown on tobacco and e-cigarette makers, sought to make medical devices safer, and oversaw new opioid approvals—and removal. 

Sue Desmond-Hellmann has driven major developments toward the eradication of disease, poverty and inequity over the past 30 years, including breakthrough medicines, such two of the first gene-targeted therapies for cancer. Her tenure at Genentech put her at the forefront of the precision medicine revolution and in her current role she champions a similar approach to global development: precision public health. 

During this keynote conversation and drawing on their diverse experiences, Drs. Gottlieb and Desmond-Hellmann will address such issues as:

  • The Private Sector Paradox: Many of the pharma companies we rely on to improve health through innovation and manufacturing are under forensic scrutiny over drug pricing and their role in the opioid epidemic. How should public agencies and philanthropic organizations use their leverage to encourage companies to address valid concerns around access and affordability?
  • Shareholders v. Stakeholders? What could a shift from shareholder to stakeholder valuation mean for the life science industry, and for innovation and access? What does the future hold for patients, providers, and the broader global community if they are put on an equal footing to shareholders? What affect will the growth of gene and cell therapies, emerging markets, and uncertain trade policies have on market dynamics?