Country lead and senior director
Alasdair Godfrey joined Optum as Asia Pacific leader in February of 2014. Since coming to Optum, he has been responsible for building the new Optum team of Health Economic and Outcomes Research specialists, and re-launching the Optum brand in the Australian medical industry environment and more generally in the APAC region. Alasdair has also had oversight (strategic and technical) on all ongoing projects including draft manuscripts, reimbursement submissions, feasibility studies, systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines.
Prior to joining Optum, Alasdair has served in mixed medical industry roles including within the medical device industry in APAC, another large market access consultancy where he completed numerous reimbursement submissions and a set of internationally adopted clinical practice guidelines. As a market access and health policy expert, Alasdair has been selected as an evaluator in the past for the Australian Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) and managed several complex evaluations for medical devices, co-dependent technology, diagnostic tests and clinical procedures. Before Optum, he had autonomous responsibility for Health Outcomes at a large global pharmaceutical company specialising mainly in injectable oncology products. The organisation was also a leader in the developing field of follow-on biological medicinal products (SBMPs or “Biosimilars”). Owing to this, Alasdair became involved in very early policy conversations with the Pharmaceutical Benefits Division (PBD) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) and was asked to participate in a variety of advisory groups and expert committees by the Australian Federal Government regarding appropriate patient access to, nomenclature for and reimbursement of SBMPs.
Alasdair has a medical and scientific academic background with degrees in medicine and genetics. Prior to moving to Australia in early 2000s, he held clinical, research and academic positions in the UK (Cambridge and Glasgow) mainly focused in the therapeutic areas of oncology and autoimmune diseases. His main interests are around co-dependent technologies (or personalised medicine), remote monitoring technology, the changing environment of global and regional health policy, government decision-making processes, the impact and issues of follow-on biological medicines and equitable access to best health care.
Adèle R Weston, PhD
Executive vice president and senior scientist, Health Economics and Outcomes, Asia Pacific
Dr Adèle Weston joined Optum through the acquisition of Sydney-based health economics consultancy HTanalysts where she was a founding director. Adèle has worked in health technology assessment and health economics consultancy for the past 14 years. During this time she has prepared several hundred PBAC and NICE reimbursement submissions as well as serving as a government HTA evaluator. Adèle has a particular interest in the integration of clinical and economic evidence in the evaluation of diagnostic, screening and targeted technologies. She is also active in the area of utility valuation and health care resource use quantification to demonstrate product value and defend price, with particular reference to the Asia Pacific region. Adèle has a PhD in physiology and has authored more than 25 peer-reviewed publications including The Lancet and NEJM. She has previously held academic appointments at the University of Natal Medical School and the University of Sydney. Adèle continues to serve on the Australian NHMRC panel of evidence-based health advice reviewers and provides methodological advice in the development of clinical practice guidelines to government and not-for-profit organisations.
Colman Taylor, PhD
Associate director, Health Economics and Outcomes Research
Colman Taylor joined Optum in May 2014 and is located in the Sydney office. During his employment with Optum, he has contributed to more than 12 projects including MSAC submissions, model adaptions, costing studies and late-phase projects.
Prior to joining Optum, Colman worked for Novartis Pharmaceuticals, where he managed and contributed to several submissions to the PBAC as well as managing evidence development projects including discrete choice experiments and chart reviews.
Colman has a strong background in academia and currently holds positions with The George Institute for Global Health and The University of Sydney. He completed his PhD studies at the George Institute, examining the cost and benefit of helicopter emergency medical services. Colman has been a lead author or co-author on more than 25 peer-reviewed publications and more than 35 conference proceedings.
Margaret Jorgensen, PhD
Manager, Health Outcomes
Dr Margaret Jorgensen joined Optum in March 2013 and is located in the Sydney office. While with Optum, Margaret has led the development of two clinical practice guidelines and has contributed to several large systematic reviews that have included RCTs, observational studies and economic literature. Margaret has also contributed to the preparation of manuscripts and the adaptation of global health economics models. Margaret has therapeutic experience across a broad range of disease areas including infectious diseases, immunology, oncology, mental health, natural therapies, obstetrics and paediatrics.
Prior to joining Optum, Margaret worked for the Health Policy Division of The George Institute for Global Health where she provided key stakeholders (such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative) with evidence-based research to support policy decisions for neglected diseases (such as malaria, TB, HIV). This included the development of a Global Survey for Funding of Innovation for Neglected Diseases and an in-depth analysis of future funding demands for malaria drug and vaccine development. Margaret gained her extensive experience in critical appraisal, data interpretation, treatment surveys, decision trees and report writing whilst being employed as an analyst in the infectious diseases group of a US-based consultancy. Here, she provided biopharmaceutical companies with an in-depth research and competitive intelligence as to the trends, emerging developments, and market potential of drugs and vaccines within the major pharmaceutical markets (US, Japan, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain). Margaret has also worked as clinical project manager for a multinational pharmaceutical company where she managed late-phase clinical trials across several geographic regions.
Margaret obtained her Bachelor of Medical Science (Hons) degree from the University of Sydney and completed her PhD at the University of New South Wales. She received postdoctoral training at the Harvard University School of Public Health and has published a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Manager, Health Economics
Paul Alexander joined Optum in 2014 and is located in the Sydney office. He contributes and manages reimbursement submissions to local reimbursement authorities such as PBAC and MSAC.
Prior to joining Optum, Paul worked for the Pharmaceutical Management Agency (PHARMAC) in New Zealand as a senior health economist where his duties included searching and critically appraising literature, building economic models to inform decision-making, as well as providing strategic input for various reimbursement options. He was also involved in multiple projects including the update to Prescription for Pharmacoeconomic Analysis and guidelines for funding applications.
Paul obtained an undergraduate degree in Financial and Business Economics (Hons) at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne before completing his MSc in Health Economics at the University of York, in the UK.
Paul’s particular areas of expertise and experience include Markov modelling and critical appraisal. He has been involved with multiple economic models as both creator and reviewer.