5 questions with Vineet Prabhu
Our monthly checkin with staff from around the world. Learn more about the people who work at CHAI.
Please tell us a bit about your background and what brought you to CHAI.
I am a scientist by training but was always interested in how to apply biology more directly to human health. So after my PhD, I did a stint in biotech consulting where I learned about the challenges of bringing drugs or diagnostics to market at every stage of development, and approaches to ensure that products ultimately reach patients they’re designed to benefit.
When I read the job description for my position at CHAI, heading HIV Market Intelligence, it was almost tailor made for me! It offered me the unique opportunity to use the analytical rigor and business principles I learned in consulting to help improve public health, by ensuring rapid access to the best HIV treatment, diagnostic, and prevention commodities at affordable and sustainable prices.
1. What’s the best thing about your job?
Thanks to the good work of CHAI staff over the years, we today have a seat at the table in important public health decision-making, both at the global and country level. It is truly an incredible privilege and also a great responsibility to ensure fact-based and optimal decisions are made to help patients who are the ultimate beneficiaries of our work.
2. What’s been one of your proudest moments working at CHAI?
Achieving the TLD price deal where, for the first time, a new best-in-class HIV drug was introduced at a price below the prevailing standard of care. It took a lot of hard work and vision, working across global and country teams to make that happen, starting from a point of skepticism from partners to making them champions for access.
Today, nearly four million patients are accessing this drug and we expect over 10 million to have transitioned to the medication by the end of 2020. There has been resounding feedback from the patient community about the significant improvement in their quality of life since accessing this drug. This work epitomizes the catalytic way that CHAI works to bring transformative and sustainable change.
3. What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
When not running behind my one year old, I like to go running with my one year old – him in a stroller that is! I occasionally get to dance salsa (which I did a lot more of before said one year old), and definitely try to find a salsa spot when I travel.
4. What books are you reading, or show are you watching right now?
I’m between binge worthy shows right now. I’m sad that the cutting wit of Modern Family is ending but I recently finished The Americans which I thought was very well done in exploring the “us vs. them” mentality of the Cold War (and arguably the present day).
5. What advice would you give someone who’s considering joining CHAI?
CHAI is unique in just how matrixed and dispersed your colleagues are. Added to that, we seek to bring transformative change to global health problems through the rigor and quality of our work and the cultivation of relationships with stakeholders. Adaptability and tact, while still keeping your eyes firmly set on the end goal, is key to succeeding at CHAI.