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DIA 2021 Global Annual Meeting

DIA Global Annual Meeting - Opening DIAmond and Plenary Session

Session Chair(s)

Barbara  Lopez Kunz, MBA, MS, MSc

Barbara Lopez Kunz, MBA, MS, MSc

  • Global Chief Executive
  • DIA, United States
We are excited to welcome you to the DIA 2021 Virtual Global Annual Meeting
Join us for the Global Annual Meeting Welcome Remarks, Keynote Address, and Opening DIAmond Session!

Keynote Address: Kenneth Frazier, JD, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Merck & Co.

For most of us, the novel coronavirus represents an unprecedented time in our lives. However, history is full of accounts of humans grappling with viral invaders, and the positive innovations and learnings that we derive from these circumstances. Ken Frazier, Chairman and CEO of Merck, reflects on the discoveries that were made during pandemics of the past and their durable effects on science and society. Mr. Frazier also discusses the adaptations and accelerations required to develop vaccines and therapeutics to address the current pandemic, and their implications for the future of drug development. The lasting transformations of the COVID-19 pandemic may yet to be fully characterized, but we know they will be documented in the history books.

Opening Plenary Panel: Combating Misinformation in Health and Health Care

The COVID-19 era has been characterized by a strong anti-science bias among large swaths of the public in many countries. This includes those who deny the existence of COVID; those who oppose vaccines based on spurious science, correlation that does not reflect causality, or an unsupported belief that vaccines are untrustworthy or harmful; those who believe that science comes from an elite that may not have the best interests of the general public at heart; and many others.

All of these beliefs pose significant challenges to public health efforts to contain the spread of COVID and encourage widespread vaccination. The problem is compounded by the tremendous amounts of misinformation that have been circulating since the beginning of the pandemic. This misinformation has been promulgated through many channels, particularly on social media. While reputable sources have made many attempts to remove or discredit such information, these efforts have been far from successful. People also continue to receive misinformation from family, friends, and public figures.

The panel will address the following high-level topics:
  • How does misinformation about health and health care spread? Why do people believe it?
  • What do we know about how to successfully help people identify and question misinformation?
  • Who is best positioned to counter misinformation about COVID, and what do we know about how to do so effectively?
  • Are there specific approaches to combating misinformation that can help address known disparities in health and health care, particularly those that are COVID-related?
Learning Objective : Identify two ways in which misinformation about health and health care spread; Identify one way in which to counter misinformation about COVID-19 effectively; Describe how known disparities in health and health care relate to the spread of misinformation about COVID-19.


Judith  Ng-Cashin, MD

Opening Remarks

Judith Ng-Cashin, MD

  • United States
Emer  Cooke, MBA, MSc

Honorary Co-Chair

Emer Cooke, MBA, MSc

  • Chair, ICMRA; Executive Director
  • European Medicines Agency, Netherlands
Janet  Woodcock, MD

Honorary Co-Chair

Janet Woodcock, MD

  • Principal Deputy Commissioner
  • FDA, United States
Yasuhiro  Fujiwara, MD, PhD

Honorary Co-Chair

Yasuhiro Fujiwara, MD, PhD

  • Chief Executive
  • Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA), Japan
Michael  Rosenblatt, MD

Introduction of Keynote Speaker

Michael Rosenblatt, MD

  • Chief Medical Officer
  • Flagship Pioneering, United States
Kenneth  Frazier, JD

Keynote Speaker

Kenneth Frazier, JD

  • Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
  • Merck & Co., Inc., United States
Susan C. Winckler, JD, RPh

Moderator: Combating Misinformation in Health and Health Care

Susan C. Winckler, JD, RPh

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Reagan-Udall Foundation, United States
Briony  Swire-Thompson


Briony Swire-Thompson

  • Senior Research Scientist, Lazer Lab
  • Northeastern University Network Science Institute, United States
Brian  Southwell, PhD


Brian Southwell, PhD

  • Senior Director, Science in the Public Sphere, Center for Communication Science
  • RTI International, United States
Melanie  Carr


Melanie Carr

  • Head of Stakeholders and Communication Division
  • European Medicines Agency, Netherlands
Richardae  Araojo, PharmD, MS


Richardae Araojo, PharmD, MS

  • Associate Commissioner for Minority Health, Director, Office of Minority Health
  • FDA, United States