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Think-Do: How a Public Health Expert Is Making Real-World Impact Through Market Access Think-Do: How a Public Health Expert Is Making Real-World Impact Through Market Access

Diane Francis found her calling in a field where people with exceptionally diverse backgrounds and perspectives are the rule, not the exception. Follow her path to Johnson & Johnson—and find your own today.

Stepping Up to the Plate in Market Access

Not sure exactly what a career in market access entails? You aren’t alone. In fact, Diane’s story begins with her own serendipitous discovery of the field.

Here’s how she recalls it: “I was ready for a new challenge in my career when I saw the job posting, but I wasn’t really all that excited to interview—the position was just so different from anything I had done in the past, to be honest, and I wasn’t sure if it was a good fit. But I remember coming to Johnson & Johnson for the first time and meeting all of these bright, passionate people who were obviously confident in my ability to succeed in the role."

Up for the challenge, Diane accepted the offer. She’s been leaning into it ever since.

“I decided, you know what, I’m going to take on something totally new—I’m ready to embark on this new journey."

By now, of course, Diane can succinctly tell you what market access is all about: "Market access is the process by which we ensure that the patients who would benefit from our drugs or treatments are able to access them with few barriers."

Even as Diane has built her expertise and settled into the role, an important sense of novelty and exploration remains. As she pointed out, "While it’s true that I’ve stayed within the same function at Johnson & Johnson, I’ve also consistently had the chance to move around and support many different parts of the business."

How many different parts? Diane reeled off several, "Orthopedics, tissue engineering, women’s health, mobility devices, diabetes, cancer, metabolic surgery …" She trailed off, but that list continues to grow into the present.

Today, with more than 20 years under her belt at Johnson & Johnson, what does Diane think has been the key to her success?

"I've had great mentors, and we also have a very real culture of learning and development at Johnson & Johnson, which has made a difference. Trust me, when you join the market access team, you’re going to be asked to learn new things every day."

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Market access is the process by which we ensure that the patients who would benefit from our drugs or treatments are able to access them with few barriers.

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Liberal Arts + MPH = ?

Speaking of learning: While our market access team includes people with wide-ranging technical expertise, Diane, the holder of two master of public health degrees—the first focusing on anthropology (Cornell), the second on health policy and management (Columbia)—exemplifies the rich diversity of backgrounds you'll find across the organization.

She thinks that her own background has perfectly prepared her for her role. "It’s stimulating to blend my public health-orientation with the perspectives of colleagues whose approaches are rooted in other disciplines."

What does she mean by her public health-orientation, exactly?

Diane unpacked it: "Enabling patients to access rapidly changing innovation can be an incredibly complicated process. Daily, for example, we have to make decisions and trade-offs that in some cases could have a population-level impact. These decisions can be daunting. And to optimally tackle them, it’s hugely beneficial to bring together people who have diverse backgrounds: clinicians, bio-statisticians, economists, engineers, marketers, even people from finance. I think it’s also critically important to always bring the patient’s perspective into the process, as well."

Something else that stands out to Diane as unique about market access: It doesn’t require you to choose sides in the old "thinking/doing" dichotomy. It runs right across the spectrum. It’s a little bit of both—more like think-do.

"In market access, we’re scientists, and we’re technical, but at the end of the day it’s all about application,” she explained. “What I mean is that you’re able to be very analytical—you can look at all of the evidence and figure out what the data is actually telling you—but then you have to execute, so you have a chance to be very hands-on and design what you think will be the most effective solution."

Diane added, "That’s the thread in my work in market access, and really across the organization, that I find the most exciting. It’s incredibly satisfying work to do."

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While helping individuals is immensely rewarding, I strive to have a positive impact on as many people as possible—to improve lives at a population level. My career at Johnson & Johnson, and my commitment to improving the health of people around the world, has allowed me to do just that.

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Join Our Market Access Team Today

Are you ready to apply your unique skill set to not only amplify the impact we’re making in so many different areas of healthcare today, but actually help us change the trajectory of health tomorrow?

If so, be sure to check out all of the roles we’re hiring for in market access at Johnson & Johnson right now, and be sure to sign up for our Global Talent Hub, too. The latter is a great way to stay in touch, learn more about our mission and even get updates about jobs that might interest you in the future.

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