Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0070
Post Date 9/22/2017
Company Akcea
Title Director, Patient Access and Operations, Canada
Employment Type Full Time

Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. is a development and commercialization company focused on impacting the lives of patients with serious cardiometabolic lipid disorders. Our priority is to bring important new therapeutics to patients in need. In order to do so, we must drive clinical program execution, understand patient and physician needs and work with regulators to gain global approval and market access to these new therapeutics.

Established as a subsidiary of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in late 2014 and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Akcea was founded with a portfolio of development-stage drugs covering multiple targets and disease states using advanced antisense therapeutics. In July 2017, Akcea closed its initial public offering of common stock and is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “AKCA.”

Akcea’s products will be supported and commercialized in Canada through its Canadian subsidiary, Akcea Therapeutics, Canada, Inc.

Director, Patient Access and Operations, Canada


Reporting to the General Manager, Canada, the Director Patient Access and Operations will be responsible for the development and management of Akcea Canada’s patient support program, patient and stakeholder advocacy, and day-to-day commercial operations.  This is an ideal for position for someone who thrives on the opportunity to establish our company as a partner in healthcare and has a passion for directly impacting patients’ lives.

The successful candidate will be based in Canada and will work closely with the Cross-functional team in the region and the Patient Advocacy function in global Headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts . He/She will be responsible for projecting the highest values and ethics consistent with Akcea’s corporate policies and values at all times.



  • Lead continuous improvement in design and operations of the patient support program.  This should be influenced by understanding the needs of patients and their HCPs and opportunities to find operational efficiencies;
  • With the GM and Global Operations colleagues, design and manage our overall distribution process with internal and external partners;
  • Work with Global Operations colleagues to ensure accurate and timely reporting
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for Canadian Patient Support Programs for both Akcea Global colleagues and external stakeholders;
  • Work internally and externally in developing, implementing, and managing a patient support program to assist patients in initiating and continuing Volanesorsen therapy.
  • Serve as primary Akcea contact for Canadian patient advocacy groups;
  • Develop and leverage high-level relationships with patient advocacy groups and stakeholders in support of Akcea goals;
  • Support broader understanding of public policy and healthcare reform relevant to rare and severe diseases and enhance the Company’s standing and reputation with key stakeholders;
  • Develop and implement specific plans that engage patient advocacy groups in our shared goal of enhancing patient access to Akcea’s transformative medicines, focusing on disease and diagnosing and screening, treatment education, public health policy, and support for capacity building of patient advocacy groups;
  • Drive, in alignment with the cross-functional team, patient related external communication projects and support internal communication about disease areas and Akcea patient advocacy programs; 
  • Represent the voice of the patient community in internal planning; 
  • Work cross-functionally with medical, commercial, compliance, and legal, for the creation of all Patient Support Program  related program marketing materials.
  • Ensure compliance with quality, medical information, and others as necessary
  • Ensure compliance with all privacy and provincial legislation for all patient support program operations
  • Create and maintains program SOPs, exceptions processes, workflows, scripting, training and reports.




  • A  pharmaceutical professional with 4-5 years of experience in managing patient support programs
  • A high level of energy and passion towards patients, innovative science and public health;
  • Experience in working with distribution and logistics partners;
  • Understanding of the patient and caregiver experience in rare diseases to include, diagnosis, treatment, and treatment options preferred;
  • Knowledge of the patient advocacy community/individuals in rare diseases required, specific experience with lipid groups/diseases (e.g. FH, FCS) preferred;
  • Knowledge of guidelines and policies affecting interactions with patient organizations;
  • Strong track record of experience in implementing projects with defined outcomes in a public affairs, advocacy or policy role;
  • Excellent strategic thinker with ability to formulate, develop and execute on agreed strategies;
  • Knowledge of the healthcare system and key policies relevant for pharmaceutical market access for highly innovative medicines;
  • A desire to work in the corporate culture of a highly innovative company aimed at redefining health, and transforming lives with new medicine;
  • Working knowledge and appreciation of the complexities of the drug development process and regulatory requirements;
  • Successful working within cross-functional teams;
  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communications skills;
  • Experience with budget management;
  • Ability and willingness to travel;
  • Fluency in both official Canadian languages, written and spoken

Excellent salary and benefits package offered.

For more information on Akcea and to apply for this position, please visit our website: Reference # 17-0070




Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. is proud to be an EEO employer.


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