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  • Interview of the month, May: David Lindsley, CEO POA Pharma North America

     

    David Lindsley, CEO POA Pharma North America, is a Registered and Licensed Dietician and Nutritionist (RDN, LD, CD) with 19 years in the profession. He has two children, a daughter aged 14 and a son aged 12 and lives in Beaverton, Washington / USA.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ”Diet to manage a disease is our mission.”

    The main focus of POA Pharma North America is marketing of medical nutrition in Canada and the United States.

    The company’s CEO and majority shareholder David Lindsley answers some questions.

    David, how would you describe yourself?

    – Let me quote an opinion given by a disgruntled and defecting

    customer in a previous company, some time after, I regained her confidence and had her back as a customer:

    ”Results driven entrepreneur, competitive sales leader, team player and coach. Direct experience with managed care, high-level physicians and thought leaders.

        Reimbursement specialist with successful management of US distribution channels. Leadership skills that get noticed with ability to solve complex problems.

        Polished sales and operational skills to create new and efficient processes that secure buy-in and support from all levels of an organization.

        Excellent quantitative analysis & presentation skills. Demonstrated ability to operate in a complex organization structure with a strong sense of integrity.”

    That is an impressive reputation. What’s your comment?

    – This is how I am.

    Inborn Errors of Metabolism and marketing of medical nutrition is a small and very different field of medicine. Both patients and their families, as well as the representatives from the industry know – or know of – each other to a much higher extent than in traditional health care.How did you and POA Pharma get in contact?

    – It is true that the Inborn Errors of Metabolism has its own medical culture with partly own rules.

    – I got the first contact with Tina Madsen Sandström. via a joint industry colleague that introduced us. NOVAM Nutrition and POA Pharma began a communication via email. Thoughts of a merger was premature, and it took some years before they ripened and before we met all three, Tina Madsen Sandström, Roland Sandstrom and myself.

    – It happened on Genetic Metabolic Dietitians International in 2014, the great American Scientific Congress held in Dallas, Texas.

    Thoughts of a merger materialized and POA Pharma North America was soon a fact. It was owned initially to 80 percent of me and 20 percent of the POA Pharma Scandinavia AB.  The Cooperation led to that POA Pharma Scandinavia increased its stake to 70% end of 2015 and POA North America is now an intrinsic part of the POA group.

    David, you were since long well established in the field of PKU (phenylketonuria) while AF (antiscretory factor) is a new area for you. Your comment?

    – AF in the form of SPC Flakes is a fascinating new innovation that fits perfectly into the POA Pharma North America company profile.

    – Our competence and mission is “Diet to Manage a disease” which fits AF in like a glove. We can see tremendous opportunities for the product.

    Tell us about your marketing in North America.

    – POA Pharma North America, as from a marketing point of view is covering the entire North American continent, has a central warehouse in Vancouver / Canada.            I can not stress enough the importance of supply capacity. “It’s absolutely important   to have minimum levels!”

    – We have a handful of employees and I myself spend considerable time traveling. There are 125 clinics in North America that are treating children and adults with PKU. I visit doctors and nutritionists at these clinics, but I also keep good contact with local patient organizations.

    The large national organization is the National PKU Alliance, a non-profit association, to whom POA Pharma North America is an associate.This means e.g. that we, through the National PKU Alliance’s channels, can give information out to families with PKU – The Society’s support to these families varies from state to state. However if they have insurances we can bill the insurance companies directly.

    Summer camps seem to be important?

    Each state or region in the US have summer camps for PKU families and at these camps POA Pharma North America is represented, often with employees, always with samples and information.

    – Summer camps will take us close to patients and creates good relationships and you learn to know many families over time.

    We spend considerable time at these camps – and get a lot of support. Parents are particularly fond of the POA Pharma Microtabs and do want us to succeed.

    “We want you to be successful, Dave!”

    What can POA Pharma Europe learn from POA Pharma North America?

    – US and Canada are similar to Europe. Both continents are consists of different nations, states and provinces. Each and everyone of these units has its own system regarding reimbursement and it is of extreme importance to carefully map and understand these different systems.

    – In negotiations with medical purchasing organizations and governmental agencies at various levels, it is a must to understand and be familiar with the different rules and regulations.

    – In the US, our survey of the different States’ reimbursement systems, has been invaluable in the introduction of PKU Easy Microtabs.

     

    When the merger was published you mailed this message to the media:

    ”We have chosen to partner with the POA Group as we believes the POA Group provides better quality, innovation and science to support the efficacy of all products in their portfolio. We are looking forward to contributing in the design, manufacturing and distribution of future products.” Has the cooperation lived up to this vision?

    – Absolutely! It has been a very rewarding and exciting time with a fruitful exchange between our two continents.

    – The first and most important thing I learned during this time is the complexity of manufacturing, logistics and distribution. I am impressed by the huge volume of science that is embedded in both PKU and the AF products.

    – But science alone is not enough to help the patients and their families.

    This is where the collective experience, knowledge and contacts, from Tina Madsen Sandström and Roland Sandstrom, makes a difference.

    – The combination of unique expertise and excellent products make the difference, and makes the POA Pharma Group a winning team. The fact that the products are available in 40 markets, is also impressive.

    On the cooperation with POA Pharma Scandinavia David Lindsley says this: I am very happy to be on board!

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