Happy New Year!
We hope this message finds you and your families well.
Collectively, we have witnessed and experienced significant change and growth over the past 12 months. Hopefully, we all had a chance to pause to celebrate the goodness, kindness, generosity, and spirit of the holiday season, while embracing the potential of a brighter future.
The year 2021 can best be characterized as one of transition. One of the many changes that the year brought included my own professional move from research scientist and clinician at Kaiser Permanente to Chief Executive Officer of Medicines360. As a board-certified OB/GYN, I dedicated the first half of my career to providing family planning services for teens and underserved women, and conducting research to understand reproductive health needs. At a time when women across the globe continue to lack equitable access to affordable and effective medicines, I’m excited to have assumed the leadership of an organization addressing unmet health needs by bringing affordable medicines and devices to market.
When Medicines360 was founded more than a decade ago, it was the first nonprofit pharmaceutical organization focused on Women’s Health in the U.S. and globally; combining the rigor and expertise of a commercial pharmaceutical company with the pro-social mission of a nonprofit. Fueled by an initial investment of philanthropic capital, our focus remains on developing accessible and affordable products for women as a means of reducing health inequities.
Today – across government, business, academia, and the social sectors, we have the collective knowledge, resources, and technical acumen to positively impact the health of women. Yet our social sector investments don’t always reflect the values and principles of fairness and respect. Drug prices continue to be a significant driver of high medical costs, often forcing individuals and families into the unimaginable choice between financial security and getting the care they need. These decisions are driven by corporate goals that prioritize profits over sustainable prices that ensure accessibility to necessary medicines.
However, Medicines360 believes we can move beyond the profit-maximizing paradigm of our traditional system; to imagine new ways of meeting the health needs of women. These ideas are not mutually exclusive. The nonprofit pharma model can be an innovative force within our healthcare industry. Free from the need to maximize profits for shareholders, nonprofit pharmaceutical organizations can close critical gaps left in women’s health, increasing access to important drugs and devices, and improving health equity.
Over its 12-year history, Medicines360 has demonstrated what a mission-driven, nonprofit pharmaceutical organization can deliver. We have supplied our hormonal IUD to over 300,000 low-income women in over 2,500 public health clinics in the U.S. and are poised to supply women across the globe with the hormonal IUD at an affordable price. And while we are proud of our innovative model to increase access to effective contraception, we also continue to ask what more can be done. That includes being more reflective about the lessons we’ve learned and sharing that knowledge.
In moving forward on our new strategic plan, we are setting out to apply our learnings to develop other critical products to meet pressing needs in women’s health. This includes continuing to partner with committed individuals, organizations, governments, media, and the private sector –– conducting research and development, as well as advocating for policy changes that improve women’s access to health.
I am proud to lead the next chapter in our journey as we work toward a vision where women everywhere can access the medicines they need and deepen our partnerships with the many organizations working to create equitable access to care.
On behalf of the staff and Board of Medicines360, best wishes for a healthy and Happy New Year.
Tina Raine-Bennett, MD, MPH, FACOG
Chief Executive Officer