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Interview with Anne Worrallo-Hickman

Country Manager, UK & Ireland

AOP Orphan Limited (“AOP Health UK”, Member of the AOP Health Group)

Q: When did AOP Health UK first start doing business in the UK and what products were available?

A: AOP Health UK was registered in the UK in 2012 with support from Business Development Consultant Douglas Lloyd-Fell. I joined the AOP Health Group in 2016 with 25 years of commercial experience in senior management within the healthcare industry. AOP Health UK is a Member of the AOP Health Group which has a long history of developing medicines for rare disease and delivering significant improvements to the health of patients! I was committed to introducing that expertise into the UK!


At that time, we only had one generic product for Huntington’s Disease.


This year in May we celebrate our 10-year anniversary. We have come a long way since then in terms of our product portfolio, our knowledge, our expertise and our growth and I am very proud of our achievements.

Q: When you started with the business six years ago what did it look like?

A: There was just me, a virtual office, and a pre-wholesale partner! Things have changed significantly since then. In the last 18 months, we have turned into a team of five and with more products being launched in the UK our growth plans are significant over the next 12-24 months. We now have eight products with more in the product pipeline for 2022/2023.

It’s been a privilege to work for an organisation that makes such a difference to patients’ lives.

Q: What has been the main successes in the 10 years of AOP Health UK’s history?

A:  When I look back on everything, we have achieved there have been some stand out successes for me:

The England tender award for our critical care product was a big success and cemented our expertise in this field.

After a 2-year complex project we were delighted to gain a wholesale dealers licence for our business in the UK. This combined with a new structure ensured we could continue to distribute our products.

Our team of five is a great team, the best team, they all have real passion for what they do and together we bring many relevant years of experience to the business. I am confident of our continued success with such credible and committed team members.

And lastly the collaboration & support we have built with HCPs and patient groups who after all should be and are our main focus.

Q: What importance should be placed on community engagement?

A: We work closely with patient organisations. Our aim is to understand the patients’ perspective and to put patients at the heart of what we do so we can deliver medicines which can provide optimal treatment and are hopefully able to ultimately improve their quality of life.  

As part of AOP Health UK’s 10-year celebration our Market Access Manager Sam Hemmati is running 10 kilometers a day in May and a half marathon on the 29th of May to raise money for MPN Voice, a patient organisation who supports everyone who has been diagnosed with a myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN).

Support of any size would be much appreciated. The JustGiving page is: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sam-hemmati4

Q: What does the product portfolio look like now and what are the main focus areas over the next five years?

A: Our product portfolio supports four therapeutic areas: Haemato-Oncology; Cardiology & Pulmonology, Intensive Care and Metabolic Disorders. Our objective is for all patients to have access to our product portfolio within the next three years.

To do this we will need to stay focused on our goals and continue to grow our team and expertise. It is a very exciting time to be part of AOP Health UK. Lots of hard work still to do but the team and I are energised and ready for the challenge.