Welcome back to #WeAreGreenKey, where we shine a spotlight on the people behind our powerhouse recruiting team. 

To kick off the week, we learn about Cheryl Chasen’s 20 year recruiting journey. Now a Partner at Green Key, Cheryl was the founding member of the Pharma division in 2009, nearly 13 years ago.  Since then, the Pharma team has grown considerably.  The division now has four heads, including Cheryl.  All have worked diligently to grow Pharma to more than 35 members, spanning fours states, including CO, IL, NC and NY. 

What first sparked your interest in a career in recruiting?  

Well, it’s been a winding journey.  I received a Masters in Social Work in hopes of pursuing a career in that field.  Of course, student loan debt and the cost of living in NYC became a reality as I approached graduation. A social work salary would have made remaining in the city a difficult undertaking.  Instead, I ventured into a few dot-com start-ups.  I worked in sales and quickly realized I did not have a passion for that industry.  I kept searching for something that could link my desire to help others and earn a good living.  That is when I had the “a-ha!” moment to become a recruiter. In recruiting, I found a meaningful career that would allow me to improve the lives of others on a consistent basis.   My first recruiting job was at Smith Hanley, where I was a biometrics recruiter. I joined Green Key seven years later to start the Pharmaceutical Division and have never looked back. 

What is one of the most important lessons you have learned in recruiting?  

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is the impact you have as a recruiter.  We are focused on connecting ideal candidates to critical openings for our clients.  In that sense, we help to fulfill two separate needs with one transaction. While we are changing the life of a candidate for the better, we are also changing the effectiveness of an organization.  Both our clients and our candidates are depending on us to ensure this transaction is handled properly throughout. 

What makes your team successful?  

We make it a priority to listen to the needs of our clients and candidates.  By doing so, we gain a solid understanding of their requirements.  The team works hard to meet those specific needs.  This establishes trust and preserves long-standing relationships.  I also feel we are successful because we love what we do.  This reflects on the quality of service we provide our clients and candidates.

Why should someone want to work at Green Key?  

The original founding partners always follow through on their commitments.  They respect the work-life balance and have done an exceptional job of navigating the recent challenges of COVID-19.  They are very flexible and offer the tools necessary to be successful.  This environment fosters creative thinking and enables constant improvement.  I always try to emulate this with my team. 

How did it feel to make Partner?  

The recognition was very rewarding.  I was very happy to make partner and look forward to the journey ahead. 

What are your goals at Green Key?  

It really comes down to three core pillars:

  1. Provide the resources and growth opportunities for success with the current Pharma team
  2. Continue to build the team
  3. Maintain a laser focus on our core mission of meeting the needs of our clients and candidates
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Green Key
Jun 6, 2023

The ‘Remarkable’ Rise of Biosimilar Drugs

“Will 2021 be another break-through year for biosimilars?” asks Forbes in an article this month.

Written by healthcare analyst Joshua Cohen Pd.D., the article discusses the rising use of biosimilars which he calls “remarkable.”

“The latest data show that physician-administered biosimilar drugs are successfully displacing their reference biologics,” Cohen writes. “Newer biosimilars are being adopted faster than before, due in large part to declining prices.”

Biosimilars are sometimes confused with generic drugs. Though there are similarities, chiefly in that they have the same clinical effect as the more costly brand name formulations, the difference is that biosimilar drugs are highly similar, but not identical to the brand names. The other difference is that generics are copies of synthetic drugs, while biosimilars are based on drugs developed using living organisms such as bacteria, animal or plant cells.

Like generics, biosimilars are significantly less expensive than the brand name counterparts. These original drugs are referred to as “reference” or “originator” products.

As the chart prepared by the Drug Channels Institute shows, the market share of some of the newest biosimilars is growing rapidly.

Their use would increase even more rapidly, writes Cohen, if the Food and Drug Administration granted biosimilars interchangeability status. A biosimilar product that meets the requirements of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act will be given interchangeable approval, meaning a pharmacy can substitute it for the original, brand name without the involvement of the prescribing doctor.

Currently, that’s one of two big obstacles to biosimilar sales. Doctors must specifically prescribe the biosimilar. Most do not out of habit, familiarity with the existing brand name and because so many health plans do not cover biosimilars.

As Adam J. Fein, PhD, CEO of the Drug Channels Institute, explains, “biosimilars are often not preferred over reference products at many of the largest U.S. commercial health plans. Physician preferences can slow adoption, too. A 2019 survey found that a majority (61%) of oncology physicians still prefer not to use biosimilars, use them only for supportive care, or prefer not to switch patients.”

Congress is expected to act next year on a bill with bipartisan support that incentivizes the use of biosimilars by changing the reimbursement formula for brand-name drugs and biologics, Cohen says. Since most biosimilars are physician-administered, improving the reimbursement rate is hoped to be enough of an incentive for doctors to make the switch.

One estimate from the Wall Street analyst firm Bernstein Research puts the annual savings from the use of biosimilars at $6.5 billion.

Calling 2020 an “inflection point,” Fein says, “The biosimilar market is finally beginning to fulfill its promise.”

Photo by Kendal on Unsplash

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Green Key