Executive Industry
Pharmacist Advocate

David E. Epstein, RPh
Division Head, Novartis Pharmaceuticals
The Pharma/Biotech industry has entered a renaissance driven by an ever increasing understanding of genetics and human pathophysiology. Pharmacists are well positioned to contribute to the development and commercialization of the new medicines which are now emerging.
View Biography

Located in Basel, Switzerland, David is a member of the Novartis Executive Committee and has been CEO of Novartis Pharmaceuticals since 2010.  Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Epstein served as Head of Novartis Oncology for nearly 10 years. In addition, Mr. Epstein led the Molecular Diagnostics Unit since its creation in 2008.

Before joining Novartis, Mr. Epstein was an associate in the strategy practice of the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. in the United States. Mr. Epstein joined Sandoz, a predecessor company of Novartis, in 1989, and held various leadership positions of increasing responsibility for the company, including Chief Operating Officer of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in the United States and Head of Novartis Specialty Medicines.

Mr. Epstein graduated with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Rutgers University College of Pharmacy in 1984, and with a Master of Business Administration in finance and marketing from New York’s Columbia University Graduate School of Business in 1987.

One of the most accomplished industry pharmacists in the world, David Epstein, RPh serves as an Executive Industry Pharmacist Advocate for the Industry Pharmacists Organization.  Mr. Epstein is pleased to serve in this volunteer role which represents no formal affiliation for him or for Novartis Pharmaceuticals.  He offers his enthusiastic support and advocacy for IPhO and industry pharmacists everywhere!

Honorary Chairman

Joseph D. Williams, RPh
Remington Medalist
Retired Chairman and CEO, Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Company
I know that I speak for every pharmacist in the industry when I say that regardless of our current assignments, once a pharmacist, always a pharmacist.
View Biography

Joseph D. Williams, RPh, salesman and corporate executive, devoted a 46-year career to the profession of pharmacy, the pharmaceutical industry, and Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Company. Williams led the company as President and CEO from 1979 to 1991, when the company ranked among the 100 largest corporations in the United Sates and its R&D team discovered atorvastatin, the compound that eventually became the world's single most successful medication ever as Lipitor.

Mr. Williams is the recipient of many significant honors and awards. In 1980, Williams received pharmacy's highest honor, when APhA awarded him the Remington Honor Medal for his enormous contributions to the pharmacy profession. Other prominent awards recognizing Williams and his contributions to the pharmacy profession have included APhA's Hugo H. Schaefer Award (1987), APhA Honorary President (2004-5), and the APhA Foundation's Jacob Miller Award (2012). Williams also holds 13 honorary doctorate degrees from prominent U.S. Colleges and Universities.

A native of Washington, Pennsylvania, Williams grew up working in his grandfather's pharmacy. He served active duty in the U.S. submarine service during World War II before earning a bachelor's degree in Pharmacy from the University of Nebraska in 1950. Upon graduation, Williams followed his grandfather's advice and joined Parke-Davis (then the world's largest pharmaceutical manufacturer) as a sales representative. His plan was to return home to work for his family's pharmacy after gaining a year of experience. But he didn't return, as he instead enjoyed an amazing career trajectory through sales and marketing before becoming President and CEO of Parke-Davis in 1973. After the company's merger with pharmaceutical giant Warner-Lambert Company, Williams was elected President and COO of Warner-Lambert in 1980 and then Chairman and CEO of the company in 1985 until his retirement in 1991.

Williams has served on the Board of Directors of many prominent Corporations and Organizations, including AT&T, JC Penney, Warner-Lambert, AFPE, People to People, PhRMA, UNCF, IFMPA, Ex-Cell-O, Shell Oil, MSMA, HIMA, and Western Electric.

Joseph D. Williams is clearly one of the most successful pharmacists to ever have worked in the pharmaceutical industry. His exceptional leadership helped new and important medicines reach hundreds of millions of patients globally, and he has had a lasting impact on the personal and professional lives of colleagues and friends, the pharmaceutical industry, the profession of pharmacy, pharmacy educators, and student pharmacists. His career accomplishments and exemplary leadership are a true inspiration to pharmacists everywhere, especially those working in the pharmaceutical industry.

Advisory Board

Jack Bradley, PharmD, JD
Medical Director North America, Sobi, Inc, and Adjunct Professor, Pharmacy Law and Ethics, Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Pharmacy
Many pharma companies were originally founded by pharmacists, so Pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry are forever linked. This important relationship continues to evolve, and the future success of our industry now depends on pharmacists like us!
View Biography

Jack Bradley is a pharmacist and an attorney possessing more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical sector. From humble beginnings working as a teenager in a community pharmacy in the early 1980s, Jack attended Rutgers College of Pharmacy in New Jersey, earning both a Bachelor of Science and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in the 1990s.

Following a post-doctoral fellowship at Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis, Jack has enjoyed a rewarding career in the pharmaceutical industry, holding roles of increasing responsibility within sanofi-aventis and Schering-Plough/Merck. Presently, Jack is the Medical Director for North America for Sobi, Inc., a Stockholm-based company dedicated to finding cures for rare diseases.

Jack is also a graduate of Seton Hall university School of Law and is Adjunct Professor of Pharmacy Law & Ethics at Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Pharmacy.

Mary Alice Dwyer, PharmD
Vice President of Global Medical Excellence,
Global Medical Affairs
AstraZeneca
A pharmacy education and practice experience provides a strong foundation for a vast number of Industry roles. Our science backgrounds, knowledge of pharmacology and wealth of patient experience open many doors to success in a challenging and rewarding career.
View Biography

Mary Alice Dwyer, PharmD, is the Vice President of Global Medical Excellence in Global Medical Affairs at AstraZeneca. She leads the Global Medical Excellence organization which is responsible for driving regional and local Medical Affairs capabilities with the goal of improving effectiveness of Medical Affairs teams in all markets. Areas of focus includes executing a global medical information platform, ensuring consistent definition and capabilities for MSLs, building the skills and consistency of the Nominated Signatory function, as well as developing the metrics and KPIs that measure Medical Affairs contribution. In addition, Medical Excellence includes the Global Medical Quality Assurance (GMQA) function, which is responsible for review of promotional material created by global brand teams.

Mary Alice joined AstraZeneca in 2004 as the Executive Director of Scientific Affairs, and was subsequently promoted to Vice President of Medical Affairs in the US. Prior to her tenure at AstraZeneca, Mary Alice led scientific field teams at Takeda, Pharmacia, and Searle. Mary Alice began her career in clinical drug development at Hoffmann-LaRoche and subsequently Glaxo where she was responsible for leading clinical trials in multiple therapeutic areas.

Jill DeSimone, RPh
Head, US Oncology Commercial Unit, Merck
As pharmacists, all of us chose this profession because ultimately we wanted to help patients. Working in industry has allowed us the opportunity to blend our scientific expertise with our drive to help patients. I am proud of all the contributions our pharmacy community has made, and will continue to make in the evolving healthcare landscape.
View Biography

Jill DeSimone is a Senior Executive within the pharmaceutical industry. Her desire to help patients has inspired her work, spanning her entire distinguished career from when she first selected pharmacy as her profession.

Most recently Jill held the senior leadership role of Senior Vice President of the Virology and Oncology business units at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS).

Jill joined BMS in 1979 as a sales representative and held various roles of increasing responsibility within Sales and Marketing, including Vice President, West Division Neuroscience Sales; Vice President, Global Metabolics Marketing; Senior Vice President, Diabetes, Infectious Diseases, and Compliance and Persistency; and Senior Vice President, Sales, CV/Metabolics.

During her tenure at BMS, Jill focused on the critical role of patient and professional advocacy in the healthcare system. She was an activist within BMS for the important role that patient advocacy and professional medical societies play in improving the quality of cancer care.

For nearly a decade, Jill was the Executive Sponsor of the BMS-Rutgers University PharmD Fellowship Program, through which more than 100 fellows were trained in more than a dozen functional areas.

Jill is a member of the Board of Directors for AIDS United and has served on the Advisory Board of the Children’s Health Fund since 2003.

Jill received her Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Northeastern University. She also completed the Executive Development program from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Carol G. Gallagher, PharmD
Former CEO, Calistoga Pharmaceuticals
A Pharmacy education provides a great foundation to pursue multiple paths within the pharmaceutical industry. The industry offers a great way to contribute to advancing the health of many patients through our collective innovations in medicines.
View Biography

Dr. Gallagher is the immediate past President and CEO of CalistogaPharmaceuticals. Dr. Gallagher led ateam of seasoned executives who advanced their lead molecule into fulldevelopment for the treatment of patients with indolent NHL and CLL beforebeing acquired by Gilead Sciences who continue to advance these programs towardglobal registration.

Dr. Gallagher is currently a Board Director at Aragon Pharmaceuticalsand the Executive Chairman of AnaptysBio, both in San Diego. She is also a member of the Glaxo Smith KlineDiscovery Investment Board and Oncology Advisory Board.

Dr. Gallagher is aseasoned industry veteran having served in various commercial and developmentroles at both large and small biopharma companies. Dr. Gallagher attended Vanderbilt Universityand received Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from theCollege of Pharmacy at the University of Kentucky. She was the National Chairman of the APhAAcademy of Students of Pharmacy in 1988-89.

Rob Kowalski, PharmD
Senior Vice President, Global Head of Regulatory Affairs and US Head of Development, Novartis Pharmaceuticals
The role of the pharmacist in the industry has blossomed over the last two decades as the opportunities for professionals with our training continues to grow exponentially. A career in the industry is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling as you are able to impact patients' lives on a whole new level.
View Biography

Rob Kowalski holds a dual role as the Senior Vice President, Global Head of Drug Regulatory Affairs and US Head of Development for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NPC) in East Hanover, NJ. Rob is also a member of the Executive Committee for NPC.

Immediately prior to his return to Novartis, Rob was Vice President and Head of North America and Japan, Global Regulatory Affairs at Schering-Plough. While at Schering-Plough, Rob was also the R&D Chair of the Primary Care Development Committee, responsible for managing the primary care portfolio of products from Full Development through Life Cycle Management. He was also the Head of the R&D Integration Office during Schering-Plough’s acquisition of Organon Biosciences in 2007.

Rob also worked as the Senior Director and Head of Primary Care Global Regulatory Affairs for Pharmacia / Pfizer Inc. Rob began his regulatory career at Sandoz / Novartis as a post-doctoral fellow and continued with the company in increasing roles of responsibility prior to his role at Pharmacia.

Through his leadership, Rob's teams have successfully brought dozens of new products to the market, including multiple new chemical entities across a wide array of therapeutic areas. Rob is a Board Member of the R&D Council of New Jersey and is also active in multiple professional organizations, including a member of the PhRMA RACC (regulatory committee). Rob was an industry representative on the PDUFA-V working group with the FDA, which created the framework for this landmark 2012 legislation.

Rob attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the US where he received both a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a Doctorate in Pharmacy. Rob completed his post-doctoral training at Rutgers University / Sandoz Pharmaceuticals.

Irene Laurora, PharmD
Global Medical Affairs Lead, Pfizer Consumer HealthCare
As pharmacists we have unique opportunities to be influential in the pharmaceutical industry, leveraging our skills and knowledge base and working with a network of like-minded professionals.
View Biography

Dr. Irene Laurora is currently a Global Medical Affairs Lead at Pfizer Consumer HealthCare. She began her career in the pharmaceutical industry as a Rutgers University post-doctoral Fellow. Subsequently she came to Pfizer and has had the opportunities to design and execute clinical studies for both new pharmaceutical products and consumer healthcare products. Irene worked at Bayer for nine years, during which time she held various leadership roles including Head of Global Medical Affairs for two of Bayer’s best-selling products, Bayer Aspirin and Aleve and Head of US Medical Affairs with responsibility for Bayer’s entire consumer health portfolio. She has experience interacting with Health Authorities around the world.

Dr. Laurora received her Bachelor’s of Pharmacy degree from St John’s University in New York and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia. She is passionate about continuous professional and personal development and encourages others to be active in their career and personal development. In 2012, Bayer named Irene their Working Mother of the Year.

Katie MacFarlane, PharmD
Managing Partner, SmartPharma LLC
Pharmacists are playing an increasingly significant role in the pharmaceutical industry, across disciplines and at all levels of management. Throughout my career, I have found my training as a pharmacist to be tremendously helpful in all of the roles I have held in the industry.
View Biography

Katie MacFarlane is an experienced pharmaceutical executive with over 23 years in the industry, including senior level roles in drug development, marketing, and sales management. Katie played a key role in the launch of many pharmaceutical brands, most notably Lipitor®, Celexa®, and Loestrin® 24. She currently heads commercial operations for Agile Therapeutics, and is preparing for the launch of their first product, Twirla™, a low-dose contraceptive patch. Katie was previously the Vice President of Women’s Health and New Product Planning at Warner Chilcott, and prior to that spent 10 years with Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert where she worked in clinical research, marketing, and sales management. Through her years of experience in the launch and marketing of pharmaceutical brands, she has been involved in the development of many patient education and compliance initiatives, and has seen the evolution from print to digital media, and understands the challenges of developing materials that are functional for the patient.

Katie is currently a co-founder and Managing Partner of SmartPharma LLC, a pharmaceutical consulting firm specializing in new product commercialization. She develops market assessments, forecasts, commercial plans, sales force analysis and launch plans for biotech companies with products in development looking for funding or partnering, as well as large pharma companies evaluating products for licensing or acquisition. SmartPharma also provides comprehensive marketing services to companies preparing to launch brands. Her experience spans multiple therapeutic areas including Women’s Health, CNS, Cardiology, Vaccines, and Dermatology, and her client base includes both small biotech and large multinational pharmaceutical companies.

Katie received her B.S. Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. She also completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Industrial Pharmacy Practice with Rutgers University and Hoffmann-LaRoche. She is an active member and mentor in the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) and also serves as a mentor to the Rutgers University Postdoctoral Fellowship. Katie was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the Purdue School of Pharmacy in 1999 and the Eaton Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012.

Wendy Mantel, CPC
Personal Brand and Career Strategist
As a certified professional coach with 25 years of industry-related experience, I am eager to help pharmacists successfully navigate the complexity of working in the corporate business environment. Helping people like you succeed in your career is the focus and most rewarding part of my job.
View Biography

Wendy L. Mantel is President of Mantel Coaching, Inc., a coaching firm specializing in personal branding and career strategy. Following an accomplished 30-year career in the advertising industry, most recently as Executive Vice President, Account Director at Sudler & Hennessey, Wendy has become a highly successful Certified Professional Coach and Master Personal Brand Strategist. Wendy is an Executive Coach for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and a Mentor for emerging women leaders in Women Unlimited, Inc.

Wendy works primarily with high potential, mid- or senior-level corporate executives and Human Resources or other personnel responsible for talent development. She coaches one-on-one as well as in groups, and facilitates personal branding, mentoring and presentation skills workshops.

Her passion for personal branding and career strategy comes from a love of collaboration and inspiration, and from long-term experience using branding and advertising best practices of Fortune 500 marketers such as AstraZeneca; Colgate; PepsiCo; one of the Big Four accounting firms; Johnson & Johnson, multiple global pharmaceutical firms, and other major corporations.

Wendy earned her Bachelor of Arts at Amherst College and her Master of Arts at Columbia University.

Mantel Coaching is an SBA-registered woman-owned small business based in Westchester County, north of New York City.