An interview with former ISPOR President Chris Pashos, now Board Member, Genesis Research, about his career, approach and goals.
Understanding paradigms and assessing opportunities
Teamwork, partnership, and evidence-based decision-making have become industry catchphrases. Yet for leaders in the fields of health economics and outcomes research, the commitment to data-driven approaches through multi-disciplinary teams is well-established.
Across his career in academia, consultancy, the pharmaceutical industry, and now as member of the Board of Directors at Genesis Research, Chris Pashos has embraced research methodologies aimed at better understanding the disease treatment paradigm and subsequent outcomes to improve patient well-being.
After six years of service in the US Navy, Chris earned his master’s and doctorate in public policy. His studies focused on solving problems in different policy areas through the various analytical techniques of statistics, economics, management, and through operations research methodologies such as decision sciences.
“The multi-disciplinary studies encapsulated my world view, which is that there is no single perfect way to understand and to get to a proper resolution of a challenge,” Chris says. “It’s all about using different methodologies and data to be better aware of what’s going on, and to be informed as completely as possible about possible alternatives to addressing an issue, as well as their expected and even unexpected outcomes. In healthcare research, we address the challenges of diseases that aren’t necessarily cared for optimally, by understanding the current disease treatment paradigm and assessing where there are opportunities to improve treatment to alleviate or lessen the burden of disease and improve the well-being of patients.”
After earning his Ph.D., Chris joined the Harvard Medical School, which was one of the first four institutions to be funded by the US federal government to create multi-disciplinary patient outcomes research teams to identify opportunities to improve care and outcomes in specific diseases. Chris and the HMS team were focused on using evidence synthesis, meta-analysis, clinical decision sciences and modeling, Real-World Data analysis, and patient-centric research to better understand the treatment paradigm for acute myocardial infarction and opportunities to improve patient care.
For Chris, one of the most fulfilling aspects of the initiative was that it contributed to a growing recognition by cardiologists and the medical practitioner community that improved delivery of health care and resulting outcomes could be informed by the diverse methods of HEOR and Real-World Evidence (RWE) as well as by the traditional use of randomized control trial research.
The life sciences connection
After six years at Harvard Medical School, Chris joined Abt Associates, a worldwide research and development organization primarily funded by government agencies and foundations. Chris and colleagues created a new consultancy serving the life sciences industry, specifically using HEOR and RWE methods to develop and commercialize innovative drugs, devices, and vaccines. Chris built the consultancy (which at its start was just himself and a part-time person) joining with colleagues to create the Abt Bio-Pharma Solutions (ABS) business unit, which grew to become an industry leader, working with most of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies, as well as with many biotech and medical devices companies.
In 2010, ABS was acquired by United BioSource Corporation, and he continued with the research organization as it was then acquired by Medco and Express Scripts, before transitioning to the pharmaceutical industry and spending several years at Takeda as Vice President of Global Outcomes and Epidemiology Research. Chris and his team helped to transform Takeda’s approach to outcomes research: (1) bringing expertise to support the early development of medicines and to inform development teams throughout the product lifecycle; and (2) integrating across global, regional, and country-level scientists among different research and commercial functions.
“Instead of outcomes and epidemiology research being siloed to peri- and post-launch, we became integrated with our development and commercialization colleagues, functioning strategically,” he says. “This work was important for regulators, health technology assessment authorities; payers; medical practitioners and the medical community; and patient organizations. Indeed, we also collaborated with relevant external medical and patient organizations, rather than viewing them as “external stakeholders”, because we wanted to hear directly from the physicians and patients or their caregivers, and to create “win-win” situations where all collaborators benefited from the research. It was very much a partnership model.”
After serving at AbbVie in an evidence strategy vice president position, he joined the Board of Directors of biotech and pharmaceutical consultancy Genesis Research. Supporting the management team, one of his contributions has been assisting with the growth, integration, and delivery of five different teams across the science organization: RWD analytical programmers and analysts; epidemiologists; biostatisticians; evidence synthesis and market access solutions providers; and scientific communications writers.
“I love working with a diverse group of individuals, helping them to optimize their own expertise while integrating with colleagues with different skill sets and perspectives. Together, we strengthen our delivery and our partnerships with our clients and other parts of the health care ecosystem,” Chris says. “Our goal is to deliver solid, impactful research that will demonstrate the value of treatments to regulators, HTAs and payers, the medical community and patients. When we and our clients succeed, patients get better care, and better care yields better patient outcomes.”
To find out more about Chris’s work and receive access to presentations and webinars in which he has taken part, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
BY: Staff writer, Genesis Research