Olaf Koester | Director
Manitoba Health

Olaf Koester, Director, Manitoba Health

Mr. Koester is the Managing Partner, OHWK Business Management Advisory. His professional background includes extensive business management consulting experience to global pharmaceutical manufacturers in the functional areas of Canadian health technology assessment, price negotiations, market access, marketing, pricing, health outcome program development and product utilization strategy development.
In his senior leadership role in the Canadian market access environment, Olaf gained deep insights into:

  • all aspects of the HTA and broader Canadian pharmaceutical system (government, hospital, industry, private sector), health system ad government
  • health systems and government policy processes, including provincial formularies, acute care, long term care, and community/retail business settings
  • government decision making processes – Common Drug Review (HTA), pan Canadian Oncology Review (HTA), pan Canadian pharmaceutical alliance (national price negotiating organization, listing agreements (Utilization Management Agreements), biologics, biosimilar, speciality drugs, oncology and hospital, and provincial Blood Coordinating Office to facilitate the advancement of transfusion medicine practices and that support the effective and appropriate use of blood and blood products.
As Director, Manitoba Health, Olaf provided expertise, advice, and briefings to the most senior levels of government, including the Premier and the Minister of Health, on all aspects of drug and ancillary benefit program design and management, provincial policies, directives and legislation including utilization management strategies, licensing provisions and practice standards for professionals, product selection, pricing, and reimbursement strategies.
Olaf also contributed to the advancement on a number of national and provincial pharmaceutical issues, most notably as Co-Chair of the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR), Chair of the National Prescription Drug Utilization Information System (NPDUIS) Steering Committee, and Vice-Chair of the Pharmaceutical Directors Forum – HTA review
Olaf has provided strategic advice to a broad spectrum of public and private health care operations. Assignments included pharmaceutical market access strategy development, marketing and pricing strategy development, strategic and business planning initiatives, organizational and operational reviews, policy development, information technology needs assessment, quality assurance initiatives, and development of performance metrics to facilitate improvements in health outcomes and business performance
Olaf has been an invited speaker at local, national and international conferences, workshops, advisory boards. The engagement topics included Health Technology Assessment in Canada, Pricing and Reimbursement Strategies and Tactics in the Canadian context, Product Listing Agreements, Health and Pharmaceutical Cost Drivers, Perspectives on Formulary Management, Direct to Consumer Advertising (DTCA), Risk Management, and drug benefit design and management, health care policy, and government decision making processes.
Olaf Koester also serves as Advisor to the Queen’s and Queen’s/Cornell MBA students enrolled in the Management Consulting, New Ventures Project, and Global Business Meeting Courses.
Olaf Koester holds bachelor degrees in Microbiology and Pharmacy from the University of Manitoba, an MBA from the Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and post-graduate health research education certificates from the Harvard Public School of Health.


Pharma Pricing & Market Access USA Day 1 @ 15:10

PANEL: Accelerated Approval and Expensive Drugs — A Challenging Combination

  • Despite the uncertain evidence of clinical benefit, drugs receiving accelerated approval enter the market as FDA-approved products. Insurers must decide whether and how to pay for them
  • How do insurers decide whether to pay for these drugs in light of little evidence?
  • Ensuring that confirmatory trials conducted after receiving accelerated approval are performed in a timely fashion and are designed optimally to limit the period of uncertainty about true clinical effect

Pharma Pricing & Market Access USA Day 2 @ 14:30

PANEL: Market access evolution in Canada – past, present, and the future

  • Ensure that prices at which pharmaceutical companies sell their patented medicines in Canada are not excessive
  • Ensuring a sustainable pharmaceutical system where payers have the information they need to make smart reimbursement choices
  • Ensuring effective access of your biosimilar into the marketplace

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