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Specialty pharmaceuticals roundtable panel bios


Read the bios of our distinguished panel of experts from across the specialty pharmacy continuum.

Meet the panel

Panel moderator Perry Cohen, Pharm. D., is a co-founder and chief executive officer of The Pharmacy Group (TPG)  in Glastonbury, Connecticut, which provides consulting services to healthcare, IT and pharmaceutical companies to grow revenue and improve the financial performance of  products and services.

Cohen has more than 30 years of experience with managed care, and during that time has worked for local, regional and national health plans. A pharmacist by training, he helped create the pharmacy benefit management industry in the early 1990s.

Over the years he has developed relationships with hundreds of decision-makers in the U.S. healthcare system and has assisted more than 200 companies in selling their products and services to payers.

Additionally, he's practiced in community, hospital and long-term care pharmacy in California and oversaw the operations of 50 community pharmacies in nine states.

Cohen is a co‐founder, past president and fellow of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Foundation for Managed Care Pharmacy; the Drug Topics Editorial Advisory Board; the Managed Healthcare Executive Editorial Advisory Board; the Dean’s Leadership Council; the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy; and the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy National Advisory Board. He has lectured and written extensively on the role of pharmacy benefit management in healthcare.

He holds a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy and a doctorate of pharmacy degree from University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. He completed an administrative clerkship at the Food and Drug Administration in Rockville, Maryland. His clinical training was performed at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is licensed in California and Nevada.


Steven G. Avey, R.Ph, MS, FAMCP, is vice president of specialty programs for MedImpact Healthcare Systems, Inc., where he sets strategy and develops programs that will improve care for specialty pharmaceutical patients.

A distinguished expert in managed care, he’s a fellow of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (FAMCP) and the namesake of the AMCP Foundation’s prestigious lifetime achievement award, which was renamed the Steven G. Avey award in recognition of his achievements in quality measurement programs and drug assessment processes.

Avey received his master's of science degree in pharmacy administration from the University of Utah College of Pharmacy in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a bachelor of science in pharmacy degree from the same university. He began his pharmacy career in the retail sector, owning and operating Avey’s Medical Village Pharmacy for nine years. While his early-career focus was on geriatrics in the long-term care setting, psychiatry and pediatrics, his focus after graduate school changed to managed care pharmacy. Avey was instrumental in setting up a pharmacy benefit management division with a mail order pharmacy for Smith’s Food & Drugs in Salt Lake City.

Prior to his role with MedIpact, Avery served in executive leadership positions at several pharmacy firms, and from 999 to 2005 he served as executive director of the Foundation for Managed Care Pharmacy (FMCP), were he created educational and research programs.

He’ a member of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, American Pharmacists Association, and Utah Pharmaceutical Association, and is licensed to practice pharmacy in the State of California.

Avey has delivered over 90 professional presentations and authored numerous publications.



Panelist Allan J. Chernov, M.D., is medical director of mid-markets and medical policy for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX), where he provides medical director expertise and support for sales and marketing.

As the BCBSTX medical director responsible for medical policy, he works with medical directors from the BCBS plans of Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Montana on development and maintenance of medical policies for Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC). Chernov also supports BCBSTX quality improvement initiatives, peer review for provider credentialing and recredentialing, and pharmacy programs.

An  internal medicine specialist, Chernov received a doctor of medicine degree from the University of British Columbia and completed a rotating internship and three-year internal medicine residency at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1966 to 1968 as a general medical officer attached to the Marine Corps Base at Camp Pendleton, California. 

Chernov was in private practice in general internal medicine in San Francisco for 13 years before leaving in 1985 to become vice president of medical affairs/medical director for Bay Pacific Health Plan, an IPA-model HMO in San Bruno, California. After serving in leadership roles for several other health plans, Cherov joined BCBSTX in November 2001.

He maintains an an active medical license in Texas and is certified and re-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. During a two-year stay in England from 1970 to 1972, he was granted membership in the Royal Colleges of Physicians (U.K.), and served six months as a general practitioner in Britain’s National Health Service.  He became a U.S. citizen in August 1990.

Panelist Atheer Kaddis, Pharm.D., is senior vice president of sales and business development for Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, where his responsibilities include business development, industry relations, sales, managed markets, and retail and hospital support programs.

He received his doctor of pharmacy degree from Wayne State University in Michigan in 1994 and began his career as a staff pharmacist at William Beaumont Hospital in Troy, Michigan.

Kaddis continued his hospital pharmacy experience as a Clinical Oncology Specialist at Grace Hospital in Detroit and also worked in the community pharmacy setting.

He joined Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in 1997 as clinical program manager dedicated to the Ford Motor Company account, where he also had drug information responsibilities. Kaddis joined Merck-Medco in 2000 as associate director in clinical account management, and then returned to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan as director of pharmacy services-clinical with responsibilities including formulary development, clinical program development, utilization management programs, specialty pharmacy programs, and pay-for-performance programs.

 Kaddis is a member of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy and Michigan Pharmacists Association.

Dan Leonard is the president of the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC), which sponsors and participates in research on the appropriate use of pharmaceuticals and the clinical and economic value of pharmaceutical innovation. NPC’s research contributes to the scientific foundation for informed discussions about health care access, coverage, appropriate use and value. 

Under Leonard’s leadership, NPC is expanding its focus on evidence-based medicine to support research addressing the generation, evaluation and application of evidence. In this capacity, Leonard leads NPC in bringing the pharmaceutical industry’s technical expertise and applied scientific knowledge to considerations of evidence-based medicine, comparative effectiveness reviews, evaluation and application. 

Prior to coming to NPC,  Leonard served as executive vice president of advocacy and professional services for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), where he oversaw the departments responsible for federal and state legislative affairs and strategic communications.

A veteran communications and media strategist with more than 20 years of experience in strategic communications, legislative management, politics and broadcast journalism, Leonard serves on the National Health Council’s board, and on the advisory boards of the Health Industry Forum and the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.

He received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio, and a master’s in government from Johns Hopkins University.

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