Medicines360 Executive Discusses Unique Business Model

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Sally Stephens, the Feb. 12 WDI Global Impact Speaker and chief business officer of Medicines360, the only nonprofit pharmaceutical company with a marketed product in the U.S., sat down for a one-on-one interview while on campus. (Watch the interview below.)

Stephens was interviewed by Andrea Bare, senior advisor with WDI’s Healthcare focus area, who talked with Stephens about a number of the organization’s operations. Stephens detailed Medicines360’s origin, its business model and how it operates, its approach to partnerships, how the U.S. market compares to sub-Saharan Africa and what the future holds.

Regarding partnerships, Stephens told Bare that Medicines360’s approach is to “partner if someone has the expertise that will help us meet our mission,” she said. “We saw a lack of expertise in the U.S. public sector, so we developed that expertise.”

She said the same “myths and gaps” exist in both the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa markets. For the future, Stephens said, Medicines360 will “focus on broadening our impact.”

“It is all about access for us,” she said.

Medicines360 has a unique mission-driven business model and an innovative partnership with Allergan. As its name implies, Medicines360 has a global focus and is driven to meet an unmet need for women around the world, including in the U.S. That is, affordable, long-acting contraceptives.

Its first product is a hormonal intrauterine device, or IUD, which had been out of reach for many women because of the high cost of the sole brand on the market. Medicines360 offers its FDA-approved Liletta at a discounted price to public sector clinics across the U.S. to increase access to this important family-planning product.

Additionally, Medicines360 has been working with international health organizations to offer the product, branded as Avibela in low- and middle-income countries, to also increase access to these markets. Avibela was launched in Madagascar in 2018. Sales of Liletta in the U.S. help fund research and development efforts by the company to bring contraceptives to countries such as Madagascar.

Stephens, who joined Medicines360 in 2011, leads the corporate strategy, business development, marketing and sales, and the developing countries programs at the organization.

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