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Nov 19

Innovative Policies for Life Sciences Innovation

Webinar with Dr. Gerald Batist, Dr. Patricia Danzon and Dr. Pierre-Gerlier Forest

Sponsored by:

The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted access to medical services, international supply chains and catalyzed significant government investments in researching and developing treatments and vaccines. To ensure Canadians have access to new medical innovations while also ensuring Canadians pay a fair price is no small challenge. This webinar will bring together experts with different perspectives to discuss the relationships between innovation, access, prices and shortages in the context of COVID-19 and proposed government policies. The disruption caused by COVID-19 provides a rare opportunity to be innovative and break from policy path-dependence.

C.D. Howe Institute events and webinars are open to members and their guests.

To register for the event, please contact Tammy Trepanier at ttrepanier@cdhowe.org.

Dr. Gerald Batist, Professor, Departments of Medicine and Oncology, McGill University; Director, Segal Cancer Centre, Jewish General Hospital

Gerald Batist is former Chair of the McGill University Department of Oncology and Director of the McGill Centre for Translational Research in Cancer. A major award from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation led to the expansion of the Centre and its integration into the Segal Cancer Centre at the Jewish General Hospital, which he also directs.

Dr. Gerald Batist was born in Montreal, and though he was at University in New York City, he returned for medical school at McGill University. This was followed by post-doctoral training in New York, Boston and finally at the National Cancer Institute in Washington. There he trained in medical oncology and in molecular pharmacology.

Dr. Batist is a clinician-scientist, trained in medical oncology and molecular pharmacology. His work, both in his lab and clinical research focuses on therapeutic resistance. This includes large consortia that run large-scale biopsy-based clinical trials to identify novel mechanisms of resistance to specific drugs. In 2014 he co-led a successful application that resulted in the establishment of the Canadian National Centre of Excellence in Personalized Medicine, Exactis Innovations. The core feature is a program to build a massive bio bank and database linked to a prospective longitudinal registry of cancer patients followed throughout the trajectory of their illness, a project called 'Personalize My Treatment'. In 2016, Dr Batist was appointed Member of the Order of Canada and Knight of the National Order of Quebec.


Dr. Patricia Danzon, Celia Moh Professor at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Patricia Danzon is the Celia Moh Professor Emeritus at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Professor Danzon received a B.A. from Oxford University, England, and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago. She has also held faculty positions at Duke University and the University of Chicago.

Professor Danzon is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of economics of health care, the biopharmaceutical industry, and insurance.  She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Social Insurance, and a former Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She has served as a consultant to many governmental agencies, NGOs and private corporations in the US and internationally. Professor Danzon has served on the Board of Directors of Medarex, Inc., the Policy and Global Affairs Board of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Policy Board of the Office of Health Economics in London.

Professor Danzon has been an Associate Editor of the American Economic Review, the Journal of Health Economics and the International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics. She has published widely in scholarly journals on a broad range of subjects related to health care, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, insurance, and the economics of law.  She co-edited the Handbook on the Economics of the Biopharmaceutical Industry (2012), for Oxford University Press and the section on “The Biopharmaceutical and Medical Equipment Industries” in Elsevier’s Encyclopedia of Health Economics ed. Anthony J. Culyer,   2014. Selected publications include:  “Differential Pricing of Pharmaceuticals: Theory, Evidence and Emerging Issues”, PharmacoEconomics, 2018; “Affordability Challenges to Value-Based Pricing: Mass Diseases, Orphan Diseases,and Cures”, Value in Health,2018;  “Exits from Vaccine Markets in the US: The Role of Competition vs. Regulation” (with N. Pereira), International J. of the Economics of Business 2011; “Value-Based Differential Pricing: Efficient Prices for Drugs in a Global Context”, Health Economics, 2013;  Setting Cost-Effectiveness Thresholds As A Means To Achieve Appropriate Drug Prices In Rich And Poor Countries” (with A. Towse and A. Mulcahy),  Health Affairs 2011; “Drug Pricing and Value in Oncology” (with E. Taylor) The Oncologist 2010; “Productivity in Pharmaceutical-Biotechnology R&D: The Role of Experience and Alliances” (with S.Nicholson and N.Pereira) J. of Health Economics 2005; “Biotech-Pharma Alliances as a Signal of Asset and Firm Quality” (with S. Nicholson and J. McCulloch, J. of Business 2005.


Dr. Pierre-Gerlier Forest, Professor and Director of the James S. and Barbara A. Palmer Chair in Public Policy, University of Calgary

Pierre-Gerlier Forest is a professor of community health sciences and the director of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, where he also holds the James S. and Barbara A. Palmer Chair in Public Policy. Prior to joining the University of Calgary in 2016, he served as director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy with the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. From 2006 to 2013, Dr. Forest was president and CEO of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, where he was engaged in policy research in areas such as urban policy, immigration, social policy, and health reform. Earlier in his career, he held prominent leadership positions with national health organisations and with Health Canada, where as Chief Scientist, he was accountable for the quality and integrity of scientific and regulatory research. He also served as research director for the Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada. He completed an MA (political science) at Université Laval and a PhD (history and social studies of science) at Université de Montréal. Dr. Forest is the author or co-author of more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and books, notably Changing Health Care in Canada (2004) and Paradigm Freeze (2013). He has facilitated international workshops and participated in a variety of expert panels, committees, and working groups. He is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. 

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