17 June 2018
Canberra, ACT (June 17, 2018)
The Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA) has announced Renée Richardson as the new project manager for its educational arm, GBMA Education.
Ms Richardson is currently based in Sydney and has recently completed her tenure as Change Manager for the natural healthcare company Soho Flordis International (SFI). Originally trained as a pharmacist, Ms Richardson has previously held senior roles in project management at SFI Research, a research and development company within the SFI Group.
GBMA Chair, Sylvain Vigneault, said he was delighted to welcome Ms Richardson, who will begin her journey with GBMA Education during the week ahead. “As a highly accomplished project manager with extensive experience in healthcare program development, Renée is the ideal person to be taking on this role.”
Ms Richardson will be responsible for managing the activities supported by the Biosimilar Education Grant, which was awarded to GBMA Education by the Australian Government in April 2018.
The launch phase of the grant is now underway, having begun with a series of interactive sessions for healthcare professionals at the Australian Pharmacy Professional (APP) Conference and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) Congress in May. UK oncologist Dr Paul Cornes, who has significant experience in the use of biosimilar medicines in Europe, met with a wide range of pharmacists and physicians to provide his expertise and hear their perspectives.
According to GBMA Chief Executive Officer, Marnie Peterson, these activities have been an important first step in listening to the views of local healthcare professionals, identifying a clear focus for future educational initiatives, and providing a platform for the discussion of biosimilar medicines in Australia. She cited surveys conducted with delegates attending the APP2018 and RACP Congress. “While the cohort was limited to conference attendees, the survey revealed that 51% of surveyed retail pharmacists were confident in dispensing biosimilar medicines, while only 20% of surveyed physicians said they were confident in prescribing biosimilar medicines.1
“That said, the survey also showed that the majority of these healthcare professionals do understand the vital role that biosimilar medicines can play in supporting the sustainability of the Australian healthcare system – even if they don’t yet have personal experience with these medicines,” she said.
Ms Peterson added that there is understandable caution about the implications of biosimilar medicine use in clinical practice, particularly around issues such as multiple switching and tracking and tracing: “So the next step for us, together with key industry stakeholders, is to work toward education that meets the needs of healthcare professionals, and their patients, to support confidence in the use of, and to drive uptake of biosimilar medicines in Australia. By strengthening the GBMA Education team, Renée will play a critical part in facilitating that education.”
For more information, please contact the GBMA. www.gbma.com.au/about-gbma/contact-us/