Kirsten Axelsen

Kirsten Axelsen

Senior Policy Advisor

Kirsten Axelsen focuses on biopharma reimbursement and health policy and has worked with biopharmaceutical and related companies for over 20 years on business strategy and public affairs in the US, EU, China and Emerging Markets. She is an advisor to the Life Sciences sector in the New York office.

Kirsten is an economist who works with healthcare clients on issues including Medicare reimbursement, payer contract negotiations, designing innovative reimbursement contracts. Kirsten works with biopharma, trade associations and health IT companies on pricing, reimbursement, patient assistance, public affairs, industrial organization, and strategic matters. She has worked to developed policy platforms for CEO's and their organizations, including public positions on drug pricing, insurance coverage and regulatory reform. She has helped to establish pricing for medicines including in rare disease and oncology considering value and affordability. Kirsten has guided the development of patient financial assistance programs for biopharma. She has prepared companies and their leaders for Congressional investigations and testimony related to drug price, price increases marketing and research investment. She often uses financial models and data analytics to demonstrate how different stakeholders in the healthcare delivery chain are affected by policy and business practice to guide corporate policy and business practice recommendations and also to estimate the impact of policy change for corporate financial disclosure. 

Kirsten is a Health Innovator Fellow with The Aspen Institute, and a Visiting Scholar with The American Enterprise Institute. She has an M.S. in Economics from the University of Texas, Austin and is published for work in health policy and health economics.

Kirsten Axelsen is not a lawyer.

Areas of FocusHealthcare


  • Advised on the design of innovative pay for health outcomes contracting agreements with health insurers and biopharma companies, helped negotiate agreements  
  • Written company positions for external use on pricing, price increases, investment in research, clinical trials, genetic testing, cost sharing. Guided multiple CEO's for external engagements and leadership roles in trade associations. 
  • Guided the establishment pricing and rebates for medicines in oncology, rare disease, cardiovascular disease and infectious disease considering health value, affordability and access through public and private health insurance. 
  • Calculated the financial impact of major legislative change to corporate revenue and income including the Affordable Care Act, Medicare Part D, Medicaid Preferred Drug Lists and China's Quality Consistency Evaluation 
  • Helped design patient assistance programs for pharmaceuticals for both insured and uninsured people 
  • Advised and supported leaders for Congressional testimony or discussions with members of congress and staff about health policy. Prepared companies for state and federal investigation on pricing and marketing.
  • Spanish

    Media Mentions

    Community Service

    Kirsten serves as a board member of Ramapo for Children, works in Ethiopia with the International Trachoma initiative and raises funds and volunteers with multiple civic and political institutions.

    Thought Leadership
    • Multiple peer reviewed articles on patient cost sharing, adherence to medication and health disparities 
    • Media and Presentations: Morning Consult, Yahoo Finance, Aspen Institute Ideas, Milken Institute