Annual Conference 2024 - IPHA

Host and Moderator of



Radio & TV Broadcaster, Columnist, Author, and Podcast Host




Networking and Registration



Matt Cooper, Matt Cooper, Radio & TV Broadcaster, Columnist, Author, and Podcast Host
Michael O’Connell, IPHA President


Opening Message

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD


Keynote 1


Aoife Connaughton, Sustainability Strategy and Decarbonisation Lead, Deloitte


Keynote 2

How can payers and industry work together?

Suzy Heafield, Pharmacist, Independent Healthcare Consultant and 
Senior Advisor at Newmarket Strategy

12.00 – 12.45pm


Better collaboration for patients

Michael McCarthy, Consultant Medical Oncologist, University Hospital Galway
Lesley Tilson, Deputy Head of NCPE
Caitriona Duggan, Country Manager at Amgen and Chair of IPHA Market Access Advisory Forum
Dr. Katarzyna Whysal, University of Galway (Physiology) and parent to Niamh, 
who was born with an extremely rare genetic variation

12.45am – 1.45pm




1.45 – 2.15pm

In conversation

David Cullinane TD, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health

2.15 – 2.50pm

Jack Kavanagh, Pharmacist, Speaker, Non Exec Director
Adam Lee, General Manager, Reckitt & Chairperson of IPHA Self-Care Division
Clare Fitzell M.P.S.I., Head of Strategic Policy, Irish Pharmacy Union

2.50 – 3.30pm

The Big Debate

Suzy Heafield, Pharmacist, Independent Healthcare Consultant and 
Senior Advisor at Newmarket Strategy
Liz Yeates, CEO, Marie Keating Foundation
Jim Breslin, Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science
Claire Boles, Chemical Engineer & Biopharma PhD Researcher, UCD



Networking Reception



Liam Regan, General Manager, Allphar Services, Uniphar
Michael O’Connell, President, IPHA


Personal Story

Rosaline Callaghan, Founder of telling her personal story of living with hATTR amyloidosis

Our Speakers

Michael O Connell

General Manager of Biogen Ireland and President of IPHA

Michael O Connell is General Manager of Biogen Ireland and President of the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association. He has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for the past 31 years, He spend 23 years in Bristol Myer Squibb having been appointed Country Manager in 2011, He Joined Biogen in 2014 and is their General Manager for the last 8 years.

Prior to joining the industry Michael qualified as a General Nurse from St Michaels Hospital Dun Laoghaire, and qualified as a Psychiatric Nurse from St John of God Hospital Stillorgan.

He completed his Master of Business Administration (MBA) in University College Cork.

Stephen Donnelly

Minister for Health

Stephen is the Minister for Health since June 2020. He is a TD for Wicklow where he has represented the constituency since 2011 when he was first elected to Dáil Éireann.

Stephen entered politics after a career in the private sector that included working as a mechanical engineer and later as a management consultant.

A graduate of University College Dublin with a Degree in mechanical engineering, Stephen also worked and studied in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Stephen has also completed a Masters Degree in Public Administration in International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

In his time in National Politics, Stephen has served on a number of Oireachtas committees and on the Fianna Fáil frontbench as spokesperson for Brexit and Health.

Aoife Connaughton

Sustainability Strategy and Decarbonisation Lead, Deloitte

Aoife is a senior sustainability leader with 10+ years of experience leading high impact sustainability programmes, driving sustainable growth and introducing new business practices and ESG technologies to organisations. Aoife is the sustainability strategy and decarbonisation lead for Deloitte Ireland and has deep sustainability expertise in the life sciences sector.

Prior to re-joining Deloitte in 2017 Aoife was Executive Director of Manufacture 2030 where her digital collaboration programmes with clients including GSK, Unilever and the European Commission were awarded the Sustainia100 Top 100 Solutions for Sustainability and the Ethical Corp award for Sustainable Supply Chain programmes. Aoife has a post graduate qualifications in Supply Chain Sustainability Management from Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership where she is also an assessor on their Sustainable Business Management programme. She was appointed a Climate Change Ambassador by An Taisce in 2020 and is a founding board member of ReWild Wicklow.

Suzy Heafield

Pharmacist, Independent Healthcare Consultant and Senior Advisor at Newmarket Strategy

Suzy is a registered pharmacist and held several senior medicines commissioning roles within NHS England since its formation in 2013, most recently as Head of Medicines Value and Delivery within the Commercial Medicines Directorate. During this time Suzy established a new expert team, focused on delivering the best value and patient outcomes from the NHS’s c£18billion p.a. spend on medicines. This included developing an innovative strategic category management approach to medicines procurement, with a focus on delivering improved patient outcomes in addition to efficiencies. Examples of projects delivered include the pilot subscription-type payment model for antimicrobials as well as procurements for hepatitis C and HIV treatments. Suzy also successfully took over management of the NHS Medicines Value Programme in 2019, introducing a greater focus on delivery of clinical and financial outcomes, with the inclusion of tools to support the system to realise potential benefits (e.g. guidelines, incentives). This approach delivered >£300m savings to the NHS in England following the introduction of biosimilar adalimumab.

Suzy also acted as Chief of Staff to the Commercial Medicines Director, providing strategic, clinical, and professional advice to the team as well as supporting a number of high-profile population health and early access negotiations, ensuring these were transacted into commercial agreements that could effectively be delivered by the NHS.

Michael Mc Carthy

Consultant Medical Oncologist, University Hospital Galway

A graduate of University College Cork, Michael completed his Higher Specialist Training in Medical Oncology in 2017. He was awarded a Medical Research Council UK Clinical Research Training Fellowship to study NKG2D ligand regulation, leading to the award of DPhil in Clinical Medicine from the University of Oxford. Michael now works as a Consultant Medical Oncologist in University Hospital Galway. He is currently a member of the RCPIs Specialty Training Committee for Medical Oncology, and chairs the NCCP Medical Oncology Clinical Leads Group.

Lesley Tilson

Deputy Head of NCPE

Lesley Tilson is Chief I Pharmacist at the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics and is a graduate of the University of Brighton. She trained in the Chelsea and Westminster hospital, London and then worked as a resident pharmacist at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust. During this time she completed a Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy with Cardiff University. Lesley worked as a senior clinical pharmacist at St James’s Hospital Dublin, on the intensive care unit and cardiac surgery ward.

She has a PhD from the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Trinity College Dublin (2002- 2005) and a Diploma in Statistics from Trinity College Dublin (2003-2004). She is a lecturer in pharmacoeconomics to undergraduate and postgraduate pharmacy students. Research interests include: Economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals in the Irish setting, pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement strategies, policies to promote generic markets, international pharmaceutical pricing, analysis of drug utilisation and expenditure trends. She received the ISPOR Bernie O’Brien

New Investigator Award in May 2011.

Dr. Katarzyna Whysall

University of Galway (Physiology) and parent to Niamh,
who was born with an extremely rare genetic variation

Dr. Whysall is a biologist at the University of Galway and a mum to three children. Her youngest daughter Niamh has an ultra-rare genetic condition associated with changes in the V-ATPase complex – there are no other kids in Ireland with this condition. Kasia and her husband Brian have embarked on the rare disease journey as parents and scientists to improve understanding of this newly discovered condition, raise the awareness about it and drive development of new potential therapies for V-ATPase and similar conditions.

Caitriona Duggan

Country Manager, Amgen and Chair of IPHA Market Access Advisory Forum

Caitriona heads up the Amgen commercial business in Ireland. Before joining Amgen, she worked for Pfizer Ireland Ltd and Pharmacia & Upjohn Ltd. Caitriona’s pharmaceutical career spans both clinical and commercial, covering roles in clinical trials, sales, marketing & market access.

Caitriona is also an active member of IPHA holding positions on the IPHA Board, IPHA Strategy Board and is the Chair of the Market Access Advisory Forum.

She is passionate about shaping a positive healthcare environment where health & wellbeing is the foundation of a strong economy. She believes the pharmaceutical industry and life sciences sector can play a greater role in the delivery of good healthcare through a value-based approach. Having completed a Master’s in Medical Informatics in her early career she very much believes that better data Infrastructure is the key to embedding and delivering value-based healthcare.

Caitriona began her career as a Haematology Nurse Specialist working in the National Bone Marrow Unit and subsequently established the Haematology clinical trials department in St. James Hospital.

David Cullinane

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health

Deputy Cullinane, who represents the Waterford constituency, was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 2016 and is the Sinn Féin National Spokesperson on Health. He served as a Senator on the Labour panel from 2011. He began his career in local politics in 2004 when he was elected to Waterford City Council.

Jack Kavanagh

Pharmacist, Speaker & Non Exec Director

Jack acquired a spinal cord injury in 2012 aged 20 leaving him with 15% muscle function. Choosing to see the injury as an opportunity to grow, learn and reset his view on life, in the following years Jack has challenged the limits of his situation. As a Pharmacist and Speaker Jack builds awareness of the value of health & wellbeing as drivers for performance coupled with cultivating diverse & inclusive environments where people belong and are valued.

Jack sits on the board of directors of the National Disability Authority and Center for Excellence in Universal Design as well as the leadership development organisation Common Purpose Ireland. Jack hosts the ‘Only Human Podcast’ and is well-known for his acclaimed TEDx talk ‘Fearless Like A Child, Overcoming Adversity’ and award-winning documentaries Breaking Boundaries. Jack loves an adventure, is a keen hand cyclist, budding sailor and can be seen online sit skiing down snowy mountains at speed.

Check out Breaking Boundaries documentary and Only Human Podcast at

Adam Lee

General Manager, Reckitt & Chairperson of IPHA Self-Care Division

Adam is General Manager of Reckitt Health Ireland and Chairperson of the IPHA Self-Care Division.
As a qualified pharmacist, Adam is acutely aware of the need to support healthcare professionals nationwide and is equally passionate about the important role that self-care can play in the Irish Healthcare system. Adam previously held roles in UK based companies Dettol, Morrissons and Tesco and holds an MPharm from the University of Manchester.

Clare Fitzell M.P.S.I.

Head of Strategic Policy,
Irish Pharmacy Union

Clare is a pharmacist with over 20 years of experience in community-based practice. She has a wide range of experience in areas of pharmacy service delivery, regulatory affairs and managing quality in pharmacy practice. In her current leadership position as Head of Strategic Policy at the IPU, Clare is responsible for advocating for advanced practice and developing strategies to support community pharmacists to practice to their full scope.

Clare enjoys sharing her expertise and knowledge of community pharmacy practice and works across a wide range of multi-disciplinary teams and committees. She currently sits on the IMVO Board, the Antimicrobial Consumption Subgroup of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Advisory Group, APPEL Strategic Advisory Group, IIOP Advisory Group, the Irish Heart Foundation Blood Pressure Council and Pharmacy eHealth Group.

Liz Yeates

CEO, Marie Keating Foundation

Having completed a BA in International Marketing from DCU and a Masters in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors, Liz worked in a variety of senior roles in the financial services sector with ABN Amro Bank in the Netherlands and AIB in Ireland. In 2008, Liz moved to the not-for-profit sector where she worked with Concern Worldwide as Department Head for a period of 6 years.

Liz was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2012 and following a year’s treatment, she joined the Marie Keating Foundation in March, 2014 as Director of Public Affairs. She was promoted to CEO in March 2015 and has led a transformation programme to develop the Foundation’s cancer awareness, support and survivorship services, which under her leadership has become one of Ireland’s leading cancer charities in Ireland.

In 2018, Liz co-founded the 221+ Cervical Cancer Group and as Steering Group member she continues to be actively involved in advocating for improved health services in Ireland. Liz is now Chairperson of the 221+ Group and Board Member of IPPOSI.

Jim Breslin

Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science

Jim Breslin enjoyed a 30 year career in the Irish senior public service, spanning both central government and the health service. He was Secretary General of three different Government Departments. He was first appointed Secretary General in 2011 to lead the establishment of the new Department of Children and Youth Affairs. From 2014 to 2020 he was Secretary General of the Department of Health. From 2020 to 2023 he led the newly established Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

He has a Master’s in Public Administration (Mid-Career) from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, MSc (Econ) from Trinity College/Institute of Public Administration and BA in Economics and Politics from UCD.  He has held a Policy Leader Fellowship at the Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge and is currently undertaking a programme in Business and Climate Change
at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

Claire Boles

Chemical Engineer & Biopharma PhD Researcher, UCD

Graduated with a bachelor’s in Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering from UCD (2021), researching the use of Chemical Reaction Engineering models, to simulate Pharmacokinetics. Completed my Masters in Biopharmaceutical Engineering also at UCD (2022). Working with NIBRT to investigate the impact of ITR mutations on AAV genome packaging. I am a member of the Ireland Women’s Sevens Rugby team. Managing large workloads and building strong working relationships through my experience as a student athlete. Having teamwork and analytical skills developed through performing in a high-performance team environment. Currently completing a PhD in optimising cell culture media for the current and future intensification of the bioprocess industry.

Liam Regan

General Manager, Allphar Services, Uniphar

Liam is General Manager of Allphar Services, part of Uniphar’s Supply Chain and Retail Division. With the Group since 2014, Liam is responsible for the commercial operations of the Allphar business, having previously held senior positions across Uniphar Group’s Commercial and Clinical Division.

Liam has fifteen years industry experience, having held a number of senior commercial roles over the years prior to commencing in his current position.

Liam’s role involves working in partnership with the Allphar operational, quality and technology teams to deliver an exceptional Pre-Wholesale service for our manufactures on a day-to-day basis.

He is very passionate about the key role Pre-Wholesale plays working with all industry stakeholders; manufacturers, HCP’s, HSE and regulatory bodies in the supply of medicines to patients.

Rosaline Callaghan

Founder of telling her personal story of living with hATTR amyloidosis

Rosaline Callaghan is a retired barrister, and living with Hereditary Amyloidosis Thr60Ala. It’s aprogressive and ultimately fatal condition in the absence of treatments and until a few years ago, there were none. Rosaline is the first in her family to have the benefit of a gene-silencing treatment which dramatically slows down the progression of this multi-systemic condition.

Rosaline’s condition originates in a fifteen-mile stretch of coastline in NW Donegal, which has led to it being known throughout the world, where it wandered with the Irish Diaspora, as “Donegal Amy”.

Rosaline is the Founder of Amyloidosis Ireland Support Group with their website at