Lori Abrams

Senior Director, Advocacy

Biography

Lori has a long history of improving clinical drug development by including patients, caregivers and advocacy groups into every aspect of the development continuum. In her last corporate role, Lori was the Director of Diversity & Patient Engagement in R&D at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS).

She built one of the first clinical trial advocacy groups in pharma. It focused on bringing awareness, accessibility, and the voice of the patient to clinical trials across multiple therapeutic areas. Moreover, her team concentrated on health disparities, and identified strategies for building relationships with minority communities by fostering partnerships with members of medical, faith based, community and political groups.

Lori was the first of two BMS employees to win the CEO Award for Inspirational Integrity.

She continues to be a frequent speaker, writer and Advisory Board member on patient engagement and diversity in clinical trials.

Prior to this role, Lori spent 13 years at BMS as an Associate Director in the Enterprise Learning Group and a Sr. Protocol Manager in Virology (HIV/AIDS). One of her achievements was the co-development and approval of the BMS Post-Study Drug Program. This provides both BMS drug and/or the competitor drug for all patients successfully completing a BMS trial who do not have insurance or a state-run payor program.

Prior to joining BMS, Lori was a Sr. Study Coordinator in HIV/AIDS-related clinical trials and a patient advocate at the National Institutes of Health and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for Military Medicine. During this time, Lori partnered with many patient advocacy organizations to highlight the plight of the military’s HIV program. Additionally, she successfully lobbied Congress to gain support to continue HIV/AIDS research, and received an increase in funding of 32 million per year. Her work was recognized with a nomination by Congressman Steny Hoyer (House Majority Leader) to be a delegate to the White House Conference of HIV/AIDS, and an Advocacy Award on AIDS Awareness Day by Congresswoman Constance Morella.

Lori completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, and received a Graduate Certificate in Organization Development from the NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Sciences.