Senior Technical Manager, Product Development and Regulatory Affairs, Clinton Health Access Initiative – Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, USA
Margaret Louey has been in her current role at Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) for just over a year. CHAI is a non-profit organisation founded by US President Clinton in 2002 with the aim of helping save the lives of millions of people living with HIV/AIDS in the developing world. CHAI has now expanded its goals to include access to critical medicines and diagnostics for HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and other diseases in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
One of Margaret’s projects involves a private-public partnership between CHAI, an innovator company and two generic manufacturers for the development of a pediatric HIV drug product.
“The collaborative partnership will accelerate access to affordable and high-quality pediatric antiretroviral products in LMICs by reducing the gap between innovator and generic product approvals,” Margaret Louey says.
After completing her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree at Monash University Margaret worked in community and hospital pharmacies in London. She returned to Melbourne a couple of years later to do her honours and PhD at Monash.
After a move to the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) to complete a post-doctoral fellowship Margaret began her 15 year career at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Margaret says her most significant role was leading the product development team for a low-cost dry powder inhaler product for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for low and middle-income populations. While working on this project, Margaret visited Jakarta to meet with patients and health-care providers.
“Sitting face to face with patients who were clearly suffering and not receiving adequate care and treatment for their diseases made me realise, firstly, how fortunate I was, and secondly, that I wanted to use my knowledge and experience to help to provide access to high-quality medicines in LMICs,” she says.
Margaret’s next career move to a non-profit organisation with her pharma background was challenging.
After unsuccessful job applications Margaret eventually secured a position in a corporate volunteering program at GSK. She moved back to Melbourne for a six month placement with Save the Children in 2017 and really learned how the non-profit sector worked.
“This role took me outside of my comfort zone; it broadened my view and made me realise that I had transferable skills beyond my technical drug development background.”
So what’s next? Margaret Louey says she’s really happy in her current job at CHAI and her goal is to contribute positively to strengthening global health.
“I feel extremely excited and fortunate to have this role. Not only am I working on a project that will have a huge impact by filling unmet medical needs in LMICs, I am continuing to learn and grow professionally.”