Over the past two years, I lost both my father and my brother to cancer. I know that my situation is not unique; too many others experience the same pain and heartache that I felt as their loved ones fight this terrible disease.
When their cancers struck, I had just joined Bristol-Myers Squibb which meant traveling back and forth frequently from the East to the West coast to manage their care. It was a very difficult time, both emotionally and physically, to say the least.
I was amazed by their practitioners – the healthcare professionals who cared for my dad and brother – and especially took notice of the incredible job they were able to do despite constraints they often faced providing the appropriate care to their patients. At times it was apparent that the amount of red tape it took to secure prescribed treatments inhibited their ability to help their patients.
These constraints were often related to the desire for offering treatment choices targeted to an individual patient’s need which were up against a health-care system that is increasingly focused on a singular “best” treatment solution for all patients. As the head of the Value, Access and Payment organization of a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases I am acutely aware of this issue. I am humbled by the outstanding work of patient advocates in their efforts in Washington, DC and our state capitals to ensure that patients receive the right medicines for their disease at the right time, in conjunction with physician choice.
BMS is investing in precision medicine to ensure we can continue to develop and deliver innovative medicines to physicians and patients. The strong voice of advocates in ensuring patients have the ability to continue to choose their own medical care must continue to be heard.
At BMS, our priority is to ensure that patients have access to our innovative medicines.
We are continuously having conversations with the payor and access community to ensure every patient can access the medicines their provider believes will deliver the best care for their individual disease. We don’t want to see anything impede physician-patient treatment choice, which we believe is essential to delivering optimal patient care.
We are committed to working across the healthcare continuum to ensure patients have access to – and can afford – new breakthrough treatments. We know the advocacy community is a critical partner in this effort and are incredibly grateful for all they do on behalf of patients like my father and brother to ensure access to the care they deserve.
Dr. Ryan is the Head, Value, Access, Payment and HEOR for Bristol-Myers Squibb. In this role, Dr. Ryan is responsible for all pricing, contracting, payer strategy, and Value and Access Marketing across the U.S. BMS portfolio, as well as all field reimbursement strategy and execution across all US payers.