Amanda Cunnington, Janssen, Patient Access and Health Affairs Director

What drives your passion for your role?

My passion stems from a vision that I have lived by for many years: ‘Deliver Access, Make the Difference’. This is only made possible by working with incredible teams committed to navigating complexity and finding solutions. It requires diverse thinking from various viewpoints, and I’ve seen first-hand how diversity and inclusion is part of Janssen’s social fabric. Our teams bring so many different perspectives, yet are united by the same goals. This ultimately makes us a better business, and ensures we create a positive difference for patients, together.

What is your greatest professional achievement to date?

Creating and seeing great teams flourish is something I have been proud of throughout my career. But more specifically I would highlight two key achievements: leading my company’s response to the newly created Cancer Drugs Fund and working with the healthcare system to deliver; and more recently the joint working partnerships with NHS and wider system to create the place-based services that deliver better outcomes for patients.

What inspired your involvement in patient access and health affairs?

How where you live and how the systems in that area affect your life chances is something close to my heart and goes right back to my Geography degree. Today, my focus is on working collaboratively with patients, clinical and system experts to actively impact on unwarranted variation. Central to this is utilising and improving data – you need good data to make good decisions, so that every patient has the same chance to get the right medicines at the right time.

How is your work in patient access and health affairs having an impact at a company level?

Firstly, there is the binary nature of access. This includes working hard on each individual submission and improving the assessment system itself – crucial to ensuring that great science innovations are also brought to clinicians and patients in this country. The second key part is to translate the complexity of the external environment into insights to help Janssen navigate the opportunities and challenges impacting our ability to bring solutions to patients. These insights guide the partnerships and collaborations we foster at all levels; vital for our role as disease area experts while also enabling us to focus on the areas of medicine where we can make the biggest difference.

What are your hopes for the future of healthcare?

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how health systems and industry alike can achieve things we didn’t even know were possible. I truly hope the drive for pragmatism, collaboration and partnership across the health, science and technology sectors remain as we move forward. Particularly in areas such as data and digital, where there is huge potential to collectively transform healthcare and learn by doing. That said, the pace is fast, so it is also crucial that we support and take care of our people on the frontlines to ensure we can continue optimising the health system and putting the needs of patients first.