The Year in Review by Ronda Dean, Afaxys CEO
Undermined. Frustrated. Undaunted.
These are the words that come to mind when I reflect on this past year following the U.S. Supreme Court decision that revoked a woman’s right and protection to privacy, choice, and ultimately, her ability to control her own destiny.
For the past 50 years, sexual and reproductive healthcare has been at the forefront of conversations, politicized, and remains uncertain due to the evolving and confusing legislation, regulations, lack of affordability, and access to care that exists in some parts of the country.
I have spent my entire career working in various areas of the healthcare system, with a primary focus on advancing women’s health. The fears that I felt at the start of my career, sadly…persist. Despite medical innovations and advances, women may receive inferior healthcare if she lives in a county without a health center offering the full range of contraception methods, a phenomenon called a contraceptive desert that more than 19 million women in the U.S. are currently experiencing.
When I think about how to navigate the ongoing obstacles present in the sexual and reproductive health landscape, I am encouraged only because we’ve lived through this before. We’ve overcome adversity, time and time again, and remained resilient. I’ve found the best way to steady myself amongst the torrent of opinions, expectations, and criticisms is to focus and ground myself in my passion for women’s healthcare.
Fourteen years ago, Afaxys was established with a focus to provide a stable, affordable supply of contraceptives to healthcare providers and their patients. We believe in reproductive freedom, and throughout this past year, Afaxys took steps to further our mission of providing affordable healthcare access for all who need it; no matter where they live. This included:
- New Alliances for Afaxys Group Services and Afaxys Pharma – This past year we’ve engaged in strategic agreements with multiple companies to expand our contraceptive portfolio and access to sexual and reproductive healthcare products such as our partnership with Agile Therapeutics to offer a new contraceptive patch, and with binx health to test for sexually transmitted infections. These strategic agreements through both Afaxys Group Services and Afaxys Pharma are examples of our focus on ensuring publicly funded clinics have everything they need to serve their patients.
- FDA Approval of Lidocaine Hydrochloride Injection USP, 1% (200 mg/20mL (10mg/mL)) Multi-Dose Vial – In June, we announced that we received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on an essential medicine to help address the decade long ongoing shortage of lidocaine. Our customers identified a gap in patient care, and we acted on our mission to ensure healthcare providers had access to this product to be able to deliver key services to patients.
- Named one of SC Top Workplaces 2022 – Our culture was on display in May, when we received the Top Workplaces 2022 honor from South Carolina Top Workplaces. Nearly 2,500 organizations were invited to participate, and Afaxys was one of 67 companies recognized based on anonymous employee feedback. This is an important recognition as we continue to bring on top talent focused on product commercialization, clinical, and drug development in the life sciences sector.
As we move into the new year and beyond at Afaxys, we will continue to increase awareness of our company and mission; to focus on our growth plan and build alliances that expand access to innovative products; to advance development projects that strengthen our product offerings; and enhance customer reach and support.
In 2023, patients and their providers will undoubtedly face additional hurdles as we deal with the aftermath and ongoing repercussions of the SCOTUS decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. Afaxys is here to support them and is prepared to meet these hurdles head-on. My passion for this space and for all providers and patients in need across the U.S. grounds me every day and propels me forward, despite the challenges we face. This is a passion shared by each dedicated member of the Afaxys team – each working tirelessly and together to ensure our patients have the products they need and can afford.
We believe affordable access to sexual and reproductive healthcare is a right, not a privilege for ALL patients regardless of race, sexuality, income, or zip code. I thank everyone that contributed to our efforts in 2022 and look forward to continuing our mission in 2023 and beyond.