Prescription Drug Affordability & Innovation

Steve Miller is the chief medical officer of Express Scripts. Dr. Miller’s focus is on supporting government relations, leading the Pharmacy & Therapeutics committee, managing the Medical Affairs team and interfacing with client groups. In addition, Dr. Miller is responsible for managing the Government Affairs organization. He has served as chief medical officer since 2006 and has been a valuable leader in all clinical matters, including e-prescribing initiatives, specialty offering and overall product development. He received his medical degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and he trained in the Pathology and Research fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and in cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Miller also earned his MBA at the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.

David Mitchell is the president and founder of Patients for Affordable Drugs, a non-profit organization focused on achieving policy changes to lower the price of prescription drugs. Mr. Mitchell is a patient with an incurable blood cancer called multiple myeloma. He depends on drugs for his survival and expects to be in continuous treatment until he dies. Myeloma finds its way around drugs, so Mr. Mitchell is a strong supporter of innovation and new drugs to extend his life and the lives of other patients. But he believes drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them. Mr. Mitchell has 40 years of experience working on health care and public health policy as a communications specialist. He has worked to reduce teen smoking, increase use of seat belts, and fight drunk driving at GMMB, a firm he helped build and run for more than 30 years. He retired in 2016 to focus his full energy and attention on helping bring about policy change to lower drug costs.

Henry Waxman currently serves as chairman at Waxman Strategies, a public affairs and strategic communications firm. He advises clients on public policy and continues to focus on the issues he championed while in Congress, including health care, environment, energy, technology and telecommunications. In addition, he serves as a regent lecturer for University of California, Los Angeles, and as an advisor and lecturer at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Previously, Henry spent 40 years serving in the House of Representatives. He had the distinction of serving as chairman and ranking member of the Energy & Commerce Committee and Committee on Oversight & Government Reform. He also served as chairman and ranking member of the Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health and the Environment.

Joel White is the president of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage. He spent twelve years on Capitol Hill as professional staff, where he helped enact nine laws, including the 2002 Trade Act, which created health care tax credits, the 2003 law that established the Medicare prescription drug benefit and Health Savings Accounts, the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act and the 2006 Tax Reform and Health Care Act, which reformed Medicare payment policies. Mr. White spent six years as staff on the Committee on Ways and Means, first as professional staff and then as staff director of the Health Subcommittee. Mr. White is on the boards of directors of CAHC, the Newborn Foundation, Samaritan Inns, Arlington Bridge Builders, and the Citizen and Soldier Foundation. He is also on the national advisory board of the Cancer Support Community. Mr. White holds a B.S. in Economics from the American University and is the co-author of the book, Facts and Figures on Government Finance.

Robert Zirkelbach is executive vice president of public affairs for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). At PhRMA, Mr. Zirkelbach is responsible for developing and executing the overall communications strategy for the organization and oversees a team that encompasses media relations, digital/social media, advertising, message development, internal communications and executive visibility. In this role, he serves as a lead spokesman for the association and manages multiple high-profile public affairs campaigns on the value of biopharmaceutical innovation, patient access to medicines and other industry priorities. Prior to joining PhRMA, Mr. Zirkelbach was vice president of strategic communications at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). In this capacity, he served as the national spokesman for the health insurance industry and played a lead role in crafting the association’s communications strategy and public policy positioning throughout the health care reform debate and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Previously, Mr. Zirkelbach was press secretary for Rep. Jim Nussle (Iowa) where he served as a spokesman for the congressman and helped craft public messaging on all congressional-related matters. He is a graduate of Central College (Iowa) where he studied communications, business, and public policy.

Moderator

Larry Kocot is a principal at KPMG, LLP and national leader of KPMG’s Center for Healthcare Regulatory Insight. The Center follows health care regulatory and policy trends driving health care transformation and industry convergence and the broader implications of operating in a more collaborative and integrated U.S. health care payment and delivery environment. Mr. Kocot provides advice and counsel to companies on corporate strategy and regulatory matters relating to public health care programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. Mr. Kocot is a former senior advisor to the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In this capacity, Mr. Kocot was a key member of the management and operations team responsible for pharmaceutical, pharmacy, and pharmacy benefit management (PBM) issues, including the launch and operation of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit (Part D). Prior to joining KPMG, Mr. Kocot practiced law at Epstein Becker Green, PC, and Dentons, US LLP. From 2007-2015, Kocot was a visiting fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution; he was also deputy director of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at Brookings from 2007-2013. Mr. Kocot was a fellow in International Security Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and an adjunct fellow at CSIS for several years thereafter. Before his government service, Mr. Kocot was senior vice president and general counsel at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, where he was responsible for all legal matters and represented the industry before Congress, state legislatures, and state and federal regulatory agencies.