Securing Access to Optimal Cancer Care

Anne White has a passion for patients. That passion has never been more important than in her new role as president of Lilly Oncology, where she is working to speed drug development to get meaningful medicines to patients, faster. White has dedicated the majority of her career to oncology. She began her career at Lilly as an engineer before moving into Research and Development across all phases of development. As she embarks on her new and exciting journey, we sat down with White and asked her about the theme for the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2018 Congress in Munich, Germany, and her vision for Lilly Oncology.

Q: In your career at Lilly, how have you been able to help secure access to optimal care?

A: One of the best ways to secure access to optimal care for people living with cancer is to develop and deliver medicines that make a meaningful difference to patients and doctors, and to do this as fast as possible.

At Lilly, we work on this every day. And as the leader of Lilly Oncology, part of my vision is to continue to drive focus and speed into the way we discover and develop new medicines.

Lilly Oncology researchers are focused on exploring the biology of cancer to find new ways to fight this deadly disease. While we are looking for the next discovery with the potential to transform cancer care, we have a number of medicines available that treat rare or difficult to treat cancers like soft tissue sarcoma; metastatic breast cancer; lung, gastric or colorectal cancer. And we’re studying ways our current medicines can help even more patients in other types of cancer, including liver and bladder cancer.

But my vision for Lilly Oncology doesn’t end there. We are also working to develop medicines faster. Getting a medicine to market just 3 to 6 months sooner could make a huge difference in the lives of people facing cancer, let alone if we can accelerate by years. In some cases, it could actually save lives. That is the reason we are here, to make medicines that make life better for people around the world.

In my previous role at Lilly, I led a team focused on how we could shorten the time it takes to develop a medicine and get it into the hands of doctors and patients faster. It took a lot of dedication and teamwork across Lilly, but we have already been able to shorten that timeline from over 10 years to just under 8 years.

Although I am in the early stages of my new role, I look forward to working with everyone to accelerate our R&D efforts, enabling Lilly Oncology to discover and develop more innovative medicines, with the ultimate goal of securing patients’ access to optimal cancer care.