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Industry Pharmacist Success Stories

Industry Pharmacist Success Stories

An Interview with Andrew Asante, PharmD
April 15, 2024

Andrew Asante, PharmD
Senior Manager, External Medical Engagement
Amgen
LinkedIn Profile


What was your motivation to pursue the pharmaceutical industry as a career path?

Growing up, I had to run many errands to the pharmacy to pick up medications for my mom and myself because we both have asthma. From these trips, I was inspired by the work of the local pharmacists and the many people they are able to serve on a daily basis.

Because of my life experiences, my mission became to work for an organization that is committed to public health with a global platform to bring lifesaving medicines to serve patients, especially to underserved populations. The pharmaceutical industry allows me the opportunity to do this.


Talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the pharmaceutical industry; what should companies be doing to continue making progress?

First, I believe it is inspiring to see the work Amgen and other pharmaceutical companies are doing in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B). I currently serve as Amgen's Black Employee Network “Global Health Equity Lead”, and I am impressed with the continuous leadership support going towards talent development and creating an inclusive environment for minorities.

Furthermore, there is currently an opportunity within the pharmaceutical industry to increase minority representation in clinical trials, which will require grassroot engagement at the community level. I believe the companies that work towards effectively increasing grassroot engagement will be pivotal to improve the lives of patients, while being able to serve more patients.


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Industry Pharmacist Success Stories

An Interview with Dagmawit Betru, PharmD
April 12, 2024

Dagmawit Betru, PharmD
Medical Science Liaison at Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk
LinkedIn Profile


What was your motivation to pursue the pharmaceutical industry as a career path?

My drive to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry stemmed from my passion to contribute to the cutting-edge research and development of new drugs, thus impacting patient care on a larger scale. The pharmaceutical industry offers a rewarding career path where pharmacists can apply their expertise to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and contribute to the advancement of healthcare on a global scale. Throughout pharmacy school, I was told to diversify my experiences early in my career. I have completed different internships in global regulatory affairs, medical affairs, market access, and a pharmaceutical rotation in medical strategy and HEOR. My interest to pursue the Medical Science Liaison (MSL) role stemmed after I completed an internship in Medical Affairs at Novo Nordisk.

This role allows me to be a lifelong learner and leverage my clinical expertise and scientific knowledge to build relationship with healthcare professionals, providing them with accurate and up-to-date scientific information. MSLs also serve as a vital link between pharmaceutical companies and the medical community, helping to bridge the gap between research and clinical practice.


Talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the pharmaceutical industry; what should companies be doing to continue making progress?

To advance DEI initiatives, pharmaceutical companies could proactively engage with diverse communities to create strategic partnerships and train clinical trial staff to be culturally competent and sensitive to the preferences of diverse participants, including language barriers. It is also important to ensure that clinical trial sites are strategically located in areas with diverse populations to improve recruitment and retention of participants from underrepresented groups. Additionally, companies should continue to strengthen the efforts to recruit and retain a diverse workforce at all levels and provide ongoing training on cultural competence to all employees, while simultaneously seeking ongoing feedback and adjusting initiatives based on feedback for sustained improvement.


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IPhO News

2023-2024 VIP Case Competition Winners Announced!
April 3, 2024

After months of hard work and commitment from students and fellows alike, we are proud to announce the winners of the 2023-2024 IPhO VIP Case Competition!


FIRST PLACE: University of California, San Francisco

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IPhO News

ACPHS Chapter Hosts 6th Annual Northeast Regional Meeting
March 27, 2024

The IPhO student chapter at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS) was pleased to host the 6th Annual Northeast Regional Meeting (NERM) on Saturday, February 24, 2024.

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IPhO News

Just Released! 2023-24 Fellowship Analysis
March 19, 2024

IPhO is pleased to announce the release of our 10th Annual PharmD Industry Fellowship Analysis for 2023-2024!

VIEW NOW

There are 941 PharmDs currently participating in US-based, industry-focused postgraduate Fellowships. This is a 13.4% increase over last year and a record number, as we celebrate a decade of creating and publishing this analysis.

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Industry Pharmacist Success Stories

An Interview with Olanike Oladeji, PharmD
February 20, 2024

Olanike Oladeji, PharmD
Manager, Medical Affairs Insights - Cardiovascular
Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine
LinkedIn Profile


What was your motivation to pursue the pharmaceutical industry as a career path?

It has always been my passion to make a positive impact on the healthcare system and ultimately help patients on their journey. Then I wanted a career with the opportunity to have a greater impact on patients while striking a balance with my life responsibilities. A career within the pharmaceutical industry provides flexibility and evolving opportunities for personal and professional growth. There’s lots of room to spread your wings and explore different roles you may never have thought possible. You are not limited to a functional area, and that’s what motivated me to choose this career path.


Talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the pharmaceutical industry; what should companies be doing to continue making progress?

As the industry evolves, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are now crucial components of a thriving workplace culture. There is a need for genuine commitment from the leadership to DEI, and this must be continually prioritized in actions, decisions, policies, and strategy. Inclusive practices in hiring, performance evaluation, and promotions are paramount to providing equitable opportunities for career development and advancement. Other areas on which DEI will focus will include community engagement to address the healthcare gap, diverse perspectives, cultural competency in clinical trials, and product development, which will allow for an inclusive data population. Prioritizing DEI initiatives to create a more equitable workplace will improve overall health outcomes for the patients we serve.


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IPhO News

Just Released! 2023 Direct-to-Industry Analysis
February 18, 2024

ACCESS THE FULL REPORT HERE

If you're looking to enter industry without a fellowship, don't miss our newly released direct-to-industry analysis, now available on the IPhO website. From this publication, you'll learn about the roles that were most common for the 172 Class of 2023 graduates who entered industry without a fellowship, along with details about the employers that hired them.

We've shared many times that the large majority of pharmacists currently working in industry never completed a fellowship. And we continue to reinforce that fact because it's important that graduating pharmacy students know that a fellowship is not the only way to launch an industry career!

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Fellow Feature

Featured Fellow: Belen Gonzalez, PharmD
February 12, 2024

Belen Gonzalez, PharmD
Scientific Communications/Medical Affairs First-Year Fellow
Sumitomo Pharma America, Inc.


What project are you most proud of so far in your fellowship?

I am most proud of my involvement in creating a publications and scientific platform for a medical device we are looking to develop for Social Anxiety Disorder. Being able to be a co-author and a Scientific Communications lead on the development of this product’s scientific story is extremely impactful and important experience relating to the beginning of a product’s life cycle. It is exciting to get involved on a project from the beginning and it sheds a light on all the research and exchange of information it takes to understand the utility of pharmaceutical products.


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Paths to Industry

Becoming a Clinical Research Associate (CRA): Neelina Chand's Story
January 31, 2024

Neelina Chand, PharmD, RPh, BCMAS
Clinical Research Associate
Parexel, Inc.
LinkedIn Profile


Hi! I’m Neelina and I’m currently working in Clinical Research/Operations as a Clinical Research Associate (CRA) - Investigational Drug Monitor. This is a hybrid role that involves ~75% travel and allows work-from-home for the remaining 25% of my work hours.

Prior to this role, I had gained clinical research experience through the pharmacy program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus but lacked professional experience in clinical trial management. Specifically, I was unfamiliar with managing a clinical trial on a day-to-day basis and the CRA role was a promising path to obtaining this experience.

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Industry Pharmacist Success Stories

An Interview with Dr. Daled Serrano-Bahri
January 16, 2024

Dr. Daled Serrano-Bahri, PharmD
Associate Director, MSL Training, Inflammation & Autoimmunity
Incyte
LinkedIn Profile


What was your motivation to pursue the pharmaceutical industry as a career path?

I first started my career as a pharmacy school adjunct professor at my alma mater. From there, I transitioned to clinical practice as a hospital clinical pharmacist and quickly developed passion for it. When the doors opened to transition into the pharmaceutical industry, I decided to take on the challenge. The opportunity to join a company that is committed to the relentless pursuit of science that could improve the lives of patients was exhilarating and a unique chance to expand my experience and knowledge of the pharmacy field. I was fascinated by the idea of building and fostering relationships with key experts in shared therapeutic areas to deliver scientific knowledge, while still helping patients indirectly. I immediately knew, by taking on this unique opportunity, I had a chance to make a great impact in the lives of patients with scientific innovation and research.


Talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the pharmaceutical industry; what should companies be doing to continue making progress?

This question has a two-fold answer. While it is important to continue to foster an inclusive and diverse environment within the pharmaceutical industry that supports hiring professionals from different ethnicities, cultural back grounds, languages, religions, genders, race, etc., it is far more important to support and promote growth for all of those already in the industry. This reflects the idea that growth and progress happen from within, which supports the notion that we need to embrace diversity by acknowledging and recognizing professionals in the field that bring upon said diversity.

This is done by continuously providing and facilitating the professional advancement of every employee, bridging income gaps within groups, and fostering safe environments for equal participation and growth. In summary, there must be recognition that we need to continue to work hard to level the playing field, while agreeing to promote diversity, inclusion and equity, which in the end will make for a better industry, empathizing with its own workers while also improving outcomes for our patients.


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IPhO News

Industry Pharmacists Organization (IPhO) Releases a New Report Summarizing the Current State of Pharmacist Job Satisfaction
January 8, 2024

Pharmacist job satisfaction and burnout is a growing challenge to the pharmacy profession as evidenced by a growing quantity and quality of pharmacist data. Survey data from nationally conducted studies of pharmacist practice settings including community, health system, and clinical pharmacy are consistently showing between 40-60% reporting job dissatisfaction and/or burnout.1-6

There are significant concerns that this dissatisfaction may be impacting the well-being of many pharmacists and contributing to decreasing pharmacy school enrollment. It may even have the potential to impact patient safety. Some of the data indicates that over 30% of pharmacists were so dissatisfied that they were either looking to change careers or would not have enrolled in pharmacy school if they had to choose all over again.2,3 This data is very disconcerting and reflects continuing trends during the past decade. In fact, recently there have been well publicized pharmacist walkouts at some of the largest community pharmacy chains.7

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Fellow Feature

Featured Fellow: Rita Youssef, PharmD
December 13, 2023

Rita Youssef, PharmD
Regulatory Affairs First-Year Fellow
Rutgers/Amgen Rotational Fellowship


Why did you choose to pursue a fellowship in Regulatory Affairs?

In my humble opinion, I believe that Regulatory Affairs is one of the few professions that plays such a critical role throughout the entire development and commercialization of medicines. The role of a Regulatory professional is the crucial link not only between the company and its products, but also for health authorities and of course our patients! Without Regulatory, life-saving drugs would not be able to get on the market and reach our patients. The broad high-level perspective on drug development from pre-clinical testing to NDA submissions all the way to commercial and drug marketing is very attractive to me, especially ensuring that the product moves forward and reaches our patients globally. I have a very detail and solution-oriented mindset as well as strong communication skills. My skillset perfectly aligned with this functional area since Regulatory is a very creative yet strategic field and contains a lot of cross-functional collaboration, as well as communication via health authorities very frequently.


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IPhO News

South University School of Pharmacy Joins the IPhO Student Chapter Network!
November 16, 2023

We are pleased to announce that South University School of Pharmacy is the latest school to join our growing network of 100+ chapters!

Congratulations to the student pharmacists at South University! IPhO now connects them to nearly 6,000 student pharmacists with similar interests, as well as a national network of hundreds of industry fellows and thousands of industry pharmacists.

Several more schools are in the late stages of filing their chapter applications and will soon join the growing national network.

To start a chapter at your school, contact us here.

For the student benefits of joining IPhO, view the National Student Brochure here!

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Industry Pharmacist Success Stories

An Interview with Dr. Filmon Emnetu, PharmD, RPh
November 15, 2023

Dr. Filmon Emnetu, PharmD, RPh
Global Clinical Trial Project Manager
Eli Lilly
LinkedIn Profile


What was your motivation to pursue the pharmaceutical industry as a career path?

My motivation to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry is rooted in my lifelong desire to make a genuine and lasting difference in the lives of patients around the world. Because the pharmaceutical sector plays a critical role in developing and delivering innovative therapies, I was naturally drawn to pursue a career in research and development. Working on phase 3 clinical trials affords me the opportunity to learn something new every day while simultaneously pursuing my goal of improving patient outcomes and health equity outcomes around the globe.


Talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the pharmaceutical industry; what should companies be doing to continue making progress?

To continue making progress in improving DEI initiatives within the pharmaceutical industry, companies should prioritize implementing comprehensive diversity initiatives, ensuring fair and inclusive hiring practices, and fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment for all employees. This includes actively seeking diverse talent, establishing mentorship and sponsorship programs for students and post-grads, promoting diversity at the leadership level, and regularly evaluating and addressing any disparities or biases within the organization. Additionally, collaboration with diverse patient communities and stakeholders can help ensure that medicines and healthcare solutions meet the needs of all individuals.


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Coach's Corner

Engaging a career coach can be confusing—we can help!
October 3, 2023

It's a busy time of the year for our IPhO coaches, as most industry fellowship program application portals have opened. Year after year, the number of fellowship positions continues to increase, and so do the number of candidates.

Soon after the launch of IPhO in October 2012, I proposed launching an IPhO coaching service. At the time, we never expected it to evolve into one of our most loved signature services—there was nothing else like it for industry-minded pharmacists! We just knew that coaching and mentoring aligned with our mission to prepare IPhO members to be the most competitive candidates possible as they pursued their pharmaceutical industry career.

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IPhO News

An Interview with Norris Turner, PharmD, PhD, Founder of THCQ Consulting
September 20, 2023

Listen in as Norris shares his perspective on pursuing a career in the pharmaceutical industry and more!

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IPhO News

IPhO Hosts Another Successful Annual Meeting!
September 11, 2023

The IPhO Annual Meeting was hosted virtually on September 8-10, 2023, with nearly 650 student registrants!

The theme of this year's conference was Learn. Grow. Find Your Place. And attendees did just that! The meeting kicked off with engaging interviews with our Platinum Sponsors, during which students benefited from a deeper dive into many Fellowship programs, application processes, qualities to emphasize in interviews, and more.

Then, Friday evening continued with IPhO organizational highlights, a feature presentation on patient diversity in clinical trials, and the fan-favorite Fellowship stakeholder panel.

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Fellowship Central

University of North Carolina DPET Fellowship Program Webinars - Registration Now Open
September 11, 2023

Interested in learning more about the different fellowship programs offered by UNC and sponsor companies? Consider signing up for our upcoming informational webinars using the QR code or on this link:

Registration Link


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IPhO News

Fellowship Recruiting: AIFA Statement
September 10, 2023

Please see the statement below from AIFA, whose Member Fellowship Programs collectively offer the majority of available fellowship positions. It is not known at this time what the offer timing will be for other programs. Some may extend offers earlier, some may align with the December 13 timing, while others will extend offers later or even "off cycle."

"Recognizing that the choice of a Post-Doctoral Industry Fellowship is an important decision, members of the Academic Industry Fellowship Alliance (AIFA) have agreed to extend offers for Fellowships no earlier than December 13, 2023.'"

AIFA Member Fellowship Programs include Belmont University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Chapman University School of Pharmacy, Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, LIU Pharmacy, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS), Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) College of Pharmacy, Mercer University College of Pharmacy, Northeastern University Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowships, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (PCP) at Saint Joseph’s University, Purdue University College of Pharmacy, Rutgers Institute for Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowships (RPIF), St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina School of Pharmacy, Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics (UNC, DPET), USC Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy

"AIFA sees this respect for candidate choice as a common aspect of each of our Program’s cultures. We hope that other academic and non-academic Fellowship Programs will respect this timeline to allow for best program fit for candidates."

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Fellow Feature

Featured Fellow: Morgan Loh, PharmD
September 4, 2023

Morgan Loh, PharmD
Global Regulatory Affairs First-Year Fellow
Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease


Can you give a brief overview of your fellowship and its structure and value within your company?

The Global Regulatory Affairs fellowship at Alexion through MCPHS University is structured to give its fellows hands-on experience with a variety of regulatory specialties across several different therapeutic areas. There are three 6-month core rotations, which include Development Strategy, Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC), and Global Advertising and Promotional Compliance. In addition, the fellow can choose an elective, 6-month rotation within Regulatory Affairs, in areas such as Regulatory Labeling and Regulatory Intelligence. This allows the fellow to not only tailor their experience but also build a strong foundation as a well-rounded regulatory professional. The PharmD fellows at Alexion are widely seen as valuable assets, as we get to transfer our clinical and technical expertise to the biopharmaceutical industry setting.


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