May 13, 2024

Meet the experts: Lisa Cox

Lisa Cox, our in-house expert in HTA submissions and ultra-rare diseases discusses her strategic vision for the industry. She also explores upcoming trends in pharmaceuticals and elaborates on how FIECON is adapting to industry changes.
What was your journey to executive director?

I wanted a job related to my human biology degree where I felt I was making a difference and helping people. I made my way into MedComs and through that ended up doing health technology appraisals with NICE and SMC. After 5 years I moved to work for a Health Economics & Outcomes Research (HEOR) Consultancy to realise and build a team of Consultants and Project Managers. My biggest success was imagining and leading a cohesive, stable and high performing team and what we achieved in terms of how we led projects, drove project strategy, grew and nurtured client partnerships and championed operational project execution. I recently moved into FIECON as the Executive Director.

In terms of the executive director role here at FIECON, what are you responsible for?

I am accountable for delivering a third of the business revenue. I'm responsible for the technical, managerial and commercial leadership of the team. This means from an operational perspective I ensure project teams are appropriately resourced, setting expectations of competency by role. People management wise, ensuring staff are appropriately trained, skilled and supported to drive high performance. Driving business development through existing relationships and ensuring the team deliver high quality services and products across the five service areas at FIECON. Responsible for team communication and alignment with business priorities, striving for a motivated and fulfilled team.

How would you describe your leadership style? How do you think it aligns with sort of the culture of the organisation?

I'm collaborative in how I work, but I push for a high standard. Thus, I push people slightly outside of their comfort zones while giving them the support they need to succeed. I think it's really important, personality-wise, to match the right team with the right people, while also taking on board and listening to other people's views. So, I believe this approach aligns well with the values of FIECON.

"We strive to achieve the highest standards and quality for our clients while supporting each other as a team to do the best job possible."

If we reflect on your journey so far, are there any pivotal experiences that you think have significantly influenced your personal and professional development?

When working on an oral midazolam product for paediatric patients with epilepsy, I really realised what a difference you can make to patients’ lives by supporting and implementing the right strategies to get products approved. This also helps the appraisal bodies understand the impact. That was a pivotal moment for me, realising that I could add value to patients' lives from a distance yet still have a direct impact.

From a personal perspective, I worked on a prostate cancer product that I helped get approved. Subsequently, my uncle has been using it for the last ten years and has significantly benefited from it.

"Seeing people you love and want to stay healthy benefit from your work is a huge achievement."

What do you think some of the future pharmaceuticals and med devices might look like?

I think AI is going to play a huge role in multiple elements of it. The starting point is in systematic literature reviews, but it moves on to cost-effective modelling, indirect treatment comparisons, and even survival analysis.

"The need for more robust health economic evidence, stronger argumentation, and the ability to demonstrate value from both cost and quality of life perspectives, as well as from clinical and safety perspectives, is becoming more prevalent."

You can see that in terms of ICER in the US, but also in the EU JCA movement and potential legislation that is likely to have a significant impact across Europe. It's a general trend for pharmaceutical companies to become more aware of the need to consider the impact and gather evidence for appraisals earlier in their product lifecycle.

I think there is a great opportunity for us to streamline and align the clinical trial outcomes to ensure they are reflective of clinical practice and meet the needs of global reimbursement bodies, given the significant gap between licensing requirements and reimbursement needs.

How do you think FIECON can ensure that we as an organisation stay adaptable and responsive to these industry changes?

We've already started our investment in innovation in terms of AI and trying to keep abreast of what's happening at the cutting edge. For pharmaceutical companies, we aim to leverage this innovation to support client partnerships by striving to improve efficiency, accuracy/quality and timeliness of our services to support timely approval and market launch. Changing regulations for US and EU enable us to utilise our health economic and HTA heritage to provide high quality solutions to clients globally.

About Lisa:

Lisa Cox, with 16 years of HEOR consulting experience, excels in strategic support at FIECON. She has led global multi-disciplinary programs, including HTA strategies and submissions across various innovative therapies. Lisa's extensive expertise spans over 100 UK&I HTA submissions, addressing complex challenges in diverse therapy areas and pioneering treatments like CAR-Ts and immunotherapies. Her prior roles involved building and leading a diverse team of strategic HEOR leaders. Lisa holds a BSc in Human Biology from Loughborough University and a Diploma of Professional Studies, ensuring a strong foundation in both the scientific and strategic facets of health economics.

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