Biosimilars Forum Chooses Director With Democratic Influence

November 23, 2020
Tony Hagen

Tony Hagen is senior managing editor for The Center for Biosimilars®.

Meaghan Rose Smith's appointment comes during a time of challenges for the biologics industry.

The Biosimilars Forum, a group formulated by major biosimilars companies to promote the use of biosimilars, has appointed Meaghan Rose Smith as its first executive director; she takes over at a time when soaring costs of biopharmaceuticals are under particular scrutiny and biosimilars face tough legal obstacles to gaining market traction.

Smith has Democratic connections and could be instrumental with the group’s efforts to promote biosimilars during the Biden administration. She was previously senior advisor and director of communications for HHS during the time the Obama administration worked on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and previously she worked for Senator Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, who currently sits on the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

“This is a critical time for the industry, and her extensive health care policy experience in both the private and public sector will be invaluable as we work to realize the significant cost-savings potential of biosimilars and face potential challenges to the BPCIA [Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act],” said Juliana Reed, president of the Biosimilars Forum and vice president and global corporate affairs lead for Immunology, Inflammation, and Biosimilars at Pfizer.

The BPCIA, the pathway for biosimilar FDA approval, is a subsection of the ACA, which is under review for constitutional acceptability by the Supreme Court. Although a negative ruling striking down the ACA is not anticipated, it remains an outside possibility, according to legal experts.

“Biosimilars are key to lowering health care costs and can save the United States billions of dollars” said Smith. “Now more than ever, as we’re dealing with the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the Supreme Court considers the BPCIA with the ACA, the future of biosimilars is critical for patients and our country.”

Most recently, Smith headed health care strategies and coalition-building efforts at the public affairs firm SKDKnickerbocker in Washington, DC.

The Biosimilars Forum includes Biogen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Coherus BioSciences, Fresenius Kabi SwissBioSim, Merck and Co, Pfizer, Samsung Bioepis, Sandoz, and Teva.

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