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IPhO News

ACPHS Chapter Hosts Third Annual Northeast Regional Meeting
April 14, 2021

The third annual IPhO Northeast Regional Meeting (NERM) was organized and hosted by the IPhO Chapter at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences on March 19-20th, 2021. For the first time, this meeting was held virtually as a two-day event via Zoom. While the hosts faced new challenges with an online meeting, IPhO-Albany was successful not only in adapting their meeting to preserve the core values of NERM, but also in including new events tailored to the virtual format. This year, the chapter was also successful in expanding its outreach to eight different schools, including those located outside the northeast region.

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IPhO News

Congratulations to the 2020-2021 IPhO VIP Case Competition Award Winners!
March 30, 2021


Congratulations to the winners of the 2020-2021 Value of Industry Pharmacists (VIP) Case Competition. This year, 71 IPhO student chapters registered to participate in the competition—the most impressive turnout to-date! The competition also had 42 industry fellows and industry pharmacists volunteer to help judge the submissions.

The annual IPhO VIP Case Competition enables students to delve into multiple disciplines within the pharmaceutical industry as they develop their hypothetical drug, including, but not limited to: Clinical Development, Medical Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, and Commercial Functions. Each phase of the drug's development lifecycle presents a unique challenge that encourages students to think strategically and apply both their clinical and pharmaceutical industry knowledge.

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Paths to Industry

Chris Fiedziuk, PharmD
March 29, 2021

Chris Headshot

Chris Fiedziuk, PharmD
Associate Medical Director
Area 23 on Hudson
Rutgers University


From the moment I was accepted into pharmacy school, I was set on becoming a community pharmacist and becoming an easily accessible healthcare resource for everyone. The path before me was set and I was ready to advance any way I could to reach my goal. I interned at a pharmacy chain during my years in pharmacy school, gathering experience not only in the practice of pharmacy but also, as I would learn, in a path that I did not want to follow. The more I interned and the closer the graduation date approached, the more anxious I felt. Which is when I realized, I did not want to pursue the community route. The more I dove into what my role at a retail pharmacy would entail and my future moving forward, the more unsure I felt. I wanted this goal since I started college, but here I was, wondering if the path I chose was the right one. Or, was I just not focusing my efforts in the correct direction? I began to seriously consider other opportunities for pharmacists that, to be honest, I did not give a second look initially.

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Student Leader Spotlight

Yumena Kawasaki, Fall 2020 IPhO Virtual Intern
March 14, 2021

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Yumena Kawasaki
P2 Student and Fall 2020 IPhO Virtual Intern
Pacific University


Why did you apply for the IPhO Virtual Flex Internship?

Applying for the IPhO virtual flex internship was my chance to explore industry since my school does not have many industry opportunities. I thought it was a great chance to take the skills I learned as Director of Social Media and Marketing at my local chapter and further discover my strengths in industry. Being a beginner in industry pharmacy, I felt that this internship could assist me in discovering my career goals and inspire new aspirations.

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Paths to Industry

Vincent Loksa, PharmD, MBA, RPh
March 9, 2021

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Vincent Loksa, PharmD, MBA, RPh
Pharmacovigilance Scientist
Karyopharm Therapeutics
MCPHS University, Boston


I think the hardest question I have ever had to answer was, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Even as an adult, I still find this question to be a challenge, mostly because you never know how you will like a job until you are performing it. When I was in pharmacy school, I had a hard time defining what it was I planned to do after I graduated. For the longest time, my goal had been to finish school, but I never put much thought into what came next. As I entered my 5th year at MCPHS (P3), I had to start putting some serious consideration into post-grad plans. During the early part of my 6th year (P4), I accepted an offer to work as a retail pharmacist after graduation.

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IPhO News

Registration Now Open for the HU Diversity Symposium!
March 4, 2021

As we move forward through these unprecedented times, IPhO remains committed to increasing diversity and inclusion within the pharmaceutical industry.

The HU Diversity Symposium will help do just that! We invite you to join us for this virtual professional development event to help support student pharmacists of color as they navigate an industry career.

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Industry Pharmacist Success Stories

An Interview with Enoch Kariuki, PharmD, MBA
March 4, 2021


I had the opportunity to speak with Enoch Kariuki, PharmD, MBA, who has an impressive and unique industry career as a biotech strategic advisor and investor. Enoch shared how growing up in Kenya influenced his decision to work in healthcare, how his pharmacy training is put to good use in his day-to-day work, tips for PharmD candidates pursuing a business degree, and much more.

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Industry Pharmacist Success Stories

An Interview with Carolyn Seyss, Rutgers Fellowship Program Director
March 2, 2021

Carolyn Seyss

Carolyn Seyss, PharmD
Fellowship Program Director
Rutgers Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowship Program
Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University

Recently I had the privilege of sitting down with Carolyn Seyss, PharmD, the recently appointed leader of the Rutgers Fellowship Program to discuss her successful industry career and some of her thoughts about leading the program in the coming years. Some of the highlights are detailed in this article!

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IPhO News

Now Accepting IPhO National and Regional Student Officer Applications!
March 1, 2021

We are excited to share that IPhO is now accepting National and Regional Student Officer (NSO/RSO) applications for the 2021-2022 cycle!

LEARN MORE AND APPLY

Being an NSO or RSO is an opportunity to get involved at the IPhO national level and make a significant impact on the work that the organization is doing to help prepare industry-minded student pharmacists from across the country. As a NSO or RSO, you have the opportunity to:

  • Build industry valued knowledge and skills
  • Gain highly visible national recognition
  • Network with fellows, student and senior leaders within IPhO
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Industry Pharmacist Success Stories

An Interview with Lindsay Cobbs
February 25, 2021

Lindsay Cobbs

Lindsay Cobbs
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Global Project Lead, Culture, Leadership & Org. Development
UCB


When did you decide that you wanted to work in industry versus retail/hospital? Was there an experience(s) that inspired that decision?
I chose a career in pharmacy for the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. Working in the pharmaceutical industry has elevated and amplified the impact I had on individual patients to help improve the lives of millions of people around the world.

I believe my unique skills and work experiences in non-traditional roles guided my career choices. As a result, I encourage pharmacy students or young pharmacists to be open to considering roles that upon first thought might not seem like a good fit for a pharmacist (in my case that was public health service and the pharmaceutical industry).

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IPhO News

IPhO Hosts First-Ever Professional Development Week
February 22, 2021

It was a busy and exciting Presidents' Day for pharmacy students, as IPhO chapters across the country kicked off Professional Development Week 2021. The first-of-its kind FREE event began on Monday, February 15 and took place over five action-packed days. And though you'd never know it based on how smoothly the events ran, it was the culmination of months of hard work from an incredibly talented team of IPhO student leaders.

The purpose of Professional Development Week, which will now be an annual IPhO initiative to kick off the spring semester, is to provide helpful information on pursuing a career in the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmacy students with an interest in Industry careers are encouraged to join in and learn about important topics. Each IPhO region hosted an event, and the lineup of topics was as follows this year:

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Fellow Feature

Micah Anthony, PharmD
February 11, 2021

Fellowship Sponsor Company: Rutgers / Bristol-Myers Squibb
Function/Discipline: HEOR
Fellowship Years: 2019—2021
Alma Mater: Xavier University

Have a fellowship question? Click here to ask a current fellow!

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IPhO News

Professional Development Week Registration
February 9, 2021

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IPhO is proud to present a regional chapter effort in the promotion of pharmacy, industry, and professionalism.

Details and RSVP links to the FREE SEMINARS, taking place from February 15-19, can be found here.

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Paths to Industry

Ramon Kelly, PharmD, RPh, BCMAS
February 2, 2021

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Ramon Kelly, PharmD, RPh, BCMAS
Pharmacovigilance Analyst
Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc.

Sometimes, taking a longer path better prepares you for the journey ahead.

After graduation, I started to map out my career trajectory. I quickly realized that I wasn't satisfied with my role as a community pharmacist. After revisiting my didactic and rotational experiences, I narrowed down my preferred career path choices and decided to pursue an industry position.

With only limited knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry, I decided to network with my colleagues to better understand how to start. I received great feedback from fellows and other pharmacists who had made this transition. Exploring and reading all the different career possibilities for PharmDs in the pharmaceutical industry was exciting. I gravitated to courses offered by my program such as Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology, and Drugs of Abuse. I learned about many of the significant incidents that prompted the regulations enacted to monitor marketed drug products' benefits and risk profiles. That's how my fascination with Pharmacovigilance began. After learning more about the role, I knew it could help me build a robust therapeutic area foundation while allowing me to sharpen and utilize my clinical skills to help champion patient safety.

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Fellow Feature

Nicolas James, PharmD
January 26, 2021

Nicolas James

Fellowship Sponsor Company: UCB / IPhO

Function/Discipline: Global Regulatory Affairs

Fellowship Years: 2020—2022

Alma Mater: Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS)

Co-Chief, IPhO National Fellows Council

How has IPhO prepared you for a career working within the pharmaceutical industry?
I believe IPhO prepared me in several ways. The most obvious preparation came from increasing my knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry. In pharmacy school, most students simply learn that in order to get a drug approved, you submit an IND and NDA to the FDA and hopefully it gets approved. We learn next-to-nothing about the opportunities for pharmacists post-grad, which have boomed over the last 10 years or so. By attending IPhO meetings, I was able to learn an incredible amount about pharmacists in the industry and the critical roles they play in drug development. Another way IPhO prepared me for this career is by improving my soft skills. I was fortunate enough to lead the ACPHS IPhO chapter for about a year and a half, which gave me an opportunity to work on my leadership, communication and project management skills, all of which are invaluable to a career in regulatory affairs. Ultimately, IPhO gave me a platform to learn about the industry while growing the skills necessary to enter the industry, both of which were critical to landing my position.

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Industry Pharmacist Success Stories

An Interview with Tom Marshall, PharmD
January 25, 2021

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Tom Marshall, PharmD
Director, HEOR – Heme & CART
Bristol Myers Squibb


When did you decide that you wanted to work in industry versus retail/hospital? Was there an experience(s) that inspired that decision?
While I was in pharmacy school, I worked in both the retail and outpatient setting. I liked it because of the clinical aspect of the positions. But I was attracted to the pharmaceutical industry because of the overall ability for growth. Additionally, there was a clear business side within the industry and the prospect of bringing innovative therapies to patients was really exciting. I spoke with a lot of people working within the industry to get a better idea of their experiences to assess if I would be a good fit.

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IPhO News

USC School of Pharmacy Joins IPhO Student Chapter Network!
January 23, 2021

USCPharmacy

We are pleased to announce that University of Southern California (USC) School of Pharmacy has joined our network as the 92nd chapter!

Congratulations to student pharmacists at USC! IPhO now connects them to more than 5,000 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, click 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 George Okpamen, PharmD
January 20, 2021

George - Official Headshot

George Okpamen, PharmD
Startups Strategy Leader for Diabetes & Biomedicines Business Units
Eli Lilly and Company
Co-founder and Chief Business Officer
Pharmacy Initiative Leaders (PILs)


I recently had the opportunity to speak virtually with Texas Southern University's own, George Okpamen. By day, George works for Eli Lilly and Company as the Startups Strategy Leader in the Diabetes & Biomedicines Business Units. At night, he serves as the Co-founder and Chief Business Officer of Pharmacy Initiative Leaders (PILs), an organization committed to increasing diversity and inclusion, both locally and globally in every stage of healthcare. Throughout his journey, George has lived by the sayings "be intentional" and "one time for the one time." The first phrase is self-explanatory, but the second phrase serves as an important reminder to take advantage of an opportunity of a lifetime in the lifetime of that opportunity. George practices these philosophies in every aspect of his life, and encourages others to weave them into their lives as well. George shared with me a more in-depth look at his career path, and the intentional steps he took to get to where he is today.


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Fellow Feature

Don't Give Up—Si Li's Fellowship Perseverance Story
January 19, 2021

Si Li Professional Picture

Fellowship Sponsor Company: Pfizer

Function/Discipline: Oncology HEOR and Market Access

Fellowship Years: 2020—2022

Alma Mater: MCPHS

The theme of my story is: don't give up!

My fellowship journey started similar to yours. Over a year ago, I applied to different fellowships and had interviews, receptions, on-sites—the works. However, shortly after the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting, when candidates were notified of their decisions, I was not on the favorable end. I did not receive an offer at that time. I was extremely happy for those that did receive an offer and congratulated them on their well-deserved accomplishments.

When I did not receive a fellowship offer at that time, I was a bit disappointed because it was not the outcome I had hoped for. However, I did not give up. I was still optimistic that it would all work out in the end. I reached out to all of my networks to see what steps I could take and what opportunities were available. This way, they were aware that I was still seeking industry opportunities and would keep me in mind should they come across any. In the meantime, I also applied to different entry-level industry positions and available fellowships. After some time and several interviews later, I felt like I was the luckiest girl in the world when I found out I was chosen to be the inaugural fellow based out of New York City.

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Industry Pharmacist Success Stories

An Interview with Neveen Abou-Gharbia, PharmD, MBA
January 12, 2021

Neveen Headshot

Neveen Abou-Gharbia, PharmD, MBA
Executive Director, Global Marketing
Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals Inc.


When did you decide that you wanted to work in industry versus retail/hospital?
Going into pharmacy school, I always knew that I wanted to pursue pharmaceutical industry but I didn’t want to pursue the R&D side of the business. So it wasn’t until I completed my first summer internship at DuPont Merck in cardiovascular medical affairs that it became clear to me what I wanted to pursue upon graduation.


Was there an experience that inspired that decision?
Yes, my mother and father went to pharmacy school abroad then came to the States to pursue their PhDs in chemistry. They went on to have long-standing and successful careers at DuPont Chemicals and Wyeth Ayerst respectively. So growing up, I would see how they leveraged their pharmacy and chemistry education to discover new drug entities, patents & technologies in the lab leading to multiple promotions and increasing responsibility along the way. They both have inspired me to pursue pharmaceutical industry to bring new medicines in therapeutic areas of high unmet need.

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