141 posts categorized "Pharmacy Practice"


“Why” Go to the APhA Conference? Students’ Experiences Answer the Question

Submitted by APhA-ASP Students

2“Live your Why” was the theme for the American Pharmacist’s Association, Academy of Student Pharmacists this past year. A record of 40 students from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at University of the Sciences attended the annual conference in Baltimore, Maryland from March 4-7, 2016. The weekend kicked off with the opening ceremony, acknowledging the work done by student pharmacists across the nation, and a “superhero” social that included line dancing, great music, and students dressed up as their favorite superheroes. We all had a great time and even had two students win awards for their costumes!

The second day of the conference was jam-packed with different classes and conferences that allowed students to gain more knowledge on our profession and the progression of the profession. That day ended with the Pennsylvania Pharmacists’ Association Reception, where students had the opportunity to mingle and chat with pharmacists as well as other student pharmacists from Pennsylvania. The connections made at this reception led to the collaboration of PCP, Jefferson, and Temple to co-host tables at an upcoming health fair this semester.

Later on that evening was the PCP alumni dinner, where all 40 students were able to eat as well as mingle with faculty and alumni from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. Pharmacy students from our chapter were given the opportunity to speak to faculty outside of the classroom setting. Connections and friendships were fostered over great food and an even better time.

1The third day of the conference, students were introduced to the new national executive board for the Academy of Student Pharmacists. Some students even attended a lecture by Professor of Clinical Pharmacy Dr. Michael Cawley P’94, PharmD’96 focusing on up and coming inhalers in the market. The day ended with students being able to meet even more alumni of Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at the alumni reception. Alumni from all different walks of life were able to speak to students about their current experiences as practicing pharmacists and Interim President Kate Mayes addressed students at the reception.

Although this year’s conference was not as sunny as it was in San Diego, all students can agree that this year was one for the books. To have the ability to network with faculty, alumni, and student pharmacists across the nation was an opportunity of a lifetime. Next year, the conference will take place in San Francisco, but this year’s conference gave us the opportunity to learn more about how we can “Live Our Why”.


Alumna’s Book Aims to Help Young Children Understand the Hurt of Bullying

Montepara PhotoRecent pharmacy graduate Courtney Montepara PharmD’15 has a passion for helping others lead a healthy and fulfilling life. Rather than follow a traditional career path after graduating from University of the Sciences last spring, the newly-minted healthcare provider took a stance against bullying and published her first children’s book, “Sam the Porcupine and His Quills of Courage.”

“My book is about a porcupine named Sam who is teased based on his appearance,” said Dr. Montepara. “I want kids to know that it is not acceptable to bully, and it’s my hope that children who feel like an outcast, such as Sam, can learn to embrace their uniqueness.”

Dr. Montepara felt motivated to help make a difference in children’s lives after reading a children’s book in her spare time. She was recently featured in an author spotlight segment on ABC27 and had the opportunity to discuss her background and share details about her book. She explained that her story has a message for all ages and incorporates relevant issues children face today, such as the struggle of acceptance, power of kindness, and importance of recognizing the beauty within.

“If my book helps improve the life of one person, then the time, energy, and money I spent was well worth it,” she said. “I love kids and believe it is important to reinforce these types of positive messages.”

Although the writing and publication process has tested Dr. Montepara’s time management skills, she credits her ability to stay organized to her time at USciences, juggling a rigorous academic schedule and personal life.

“Pharmacy school was demanding but extremely rewarding because it pushed me to work hard and always strive to do my best,” she said. “The education I received from USciences gave me a solid foundation that I will continue to build upon, and it has equipped me with the knowledge and skills that are vital in becoming a successful professional.”

Dr. Montepara is currently a first-year pharmacy resident at the Atlantic Health System in Morristown, New Jersey, and plans to pursue a second-year residency in cardiology once she is finished. As much as she has enjoyed the positive attention her children’s book has received, Dr. Montepara said she is focused on her goal of becoming a clinical pharmacist cardiology specialist with a role in academia.


USciences Legacy Runs Deep in PCP Student’s Family

Contracted Army ROTC cadets, like Kaminski, sign an enlistment contract and take an oath of enlistment.

Lauren Kaminski PharmD’21 said her choice to attend University of the Sciences was a no-brainer. After all, she said her family is living proof of the value of a USciences education and plans to follow in their footsteps.

“After witnessing the sound foundation and excellent education my father and oldest sister received from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, I am confident that I will also be diversely prepared for my future career as a pharmacist,” said Kaminski.

The family’s patriarch, James P’81 started their legacy at USciences, said Kaminski. Her oldest sister, Jessica PharmD’13, followed suit and is now stationed in Germany as a pharmacist in the U.S. Army, while her other sister, Julia PharmD’19, is her fellow classmate at USciences.

As the youngest in her family, Kaminski credits her exposure to unique pharmacy career options to her father and sisters’ experiences in the profession. In fact, she, too, hopes to become a pharmacist in the U.S. Army once she graduates. To help prepare her for a future healthcare career in the military, Kaminski was recently accepted into the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) through a cooperative arrangement with Drexel University.

Army ROTC is elective curriculum students take with their required college classes. This program aims to provide individuals, like Kaminski, with the tools, training, and experiences they need to become officers in the U.S. Army. Because Army ROTC is an elective, first- and second-year college students can participate without any obligation to join the service. Those who follow through the program will become a commissioned U.S. Army officer upon graduation.


Kaminski believes that her ROTC experience, paired with her pharmacy education, will bolster her efforts to become a successful pharmacist and leader in the U.S. Army within the next 10 years.

Beyond the guidance she has received from her family, Kaminski said she is grateful for her faculty mentorship with longtime pharmacy professor Dr. Daniel Hussar—who is currently in his 50th year as a full-time faculty member at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.

“Dr. Hussar has always made himself available to guide, mentor, and navigate me in the right direction toward reaching my future goals,” said Kaminski. “His advice and wisdom has positively impacted my entire family's experience at USciences.”

She also admires her professors’ overall passion for inspiring students of all ages and academic disciplines about the importance of healthcare delivery.

“Even in my first pre-professional year, my professors have encouraged, educated, and interacted with me and my classmates about direct-patient care and medication knowledge,” said Kaminski.

As for now, Kaminski is eager to complete her first year at USciences and looks forward to developing a unique skillset through the ROTC program.


PCP Placed Their 'Best Bets' at PPA Annual Conference

IMG_2212Students, faculty and alumni of Philadelphia College of Pharmacy united for the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association (PPA) Annual Conference, held Oct. 1-4, 2015, in Harrisburg. More than a dozen student-pharmacists participated in the leadership seminars and continuing education activities as well as engaged in residency lectures and showcases, all centered around the conference theme, “Pharmacists: The Best Bet to Patient Care.” They particularly enjoyed networking with pharmacists and pharmacy students from across Pennsylvania.

Terry Pak PharmD’16, Kevin Pak PharmD’19, Justin Mathew PharmD’16, and Nirali Patel PharmD’17 teamed up to showcase their pharmacy skills in the “Achieving Independence Competition,” which was held during the conference. This student competition was established in 2009 as a way to encourage creativity and interest in pharmacy ownership.

PCP alumnus Eric R. Esterbrook P'98, owner of Esterbrook Pharmacy in Reading, Pa., served as the team’s independent pharmacy coach. As a pharmacist and entrepreneur for more than 20 years, Esterbrook was able to share valuable insight with the students that, ultimately, helped them develop an organized and detailed presentation. Faculty advisor Dr. Henry M. Schwartz, director of community pharmacy practice experiences at USciences, also helped to prepare the students for the competition.

A total of five pharmacy schools, including PCP, participated in the competition and each presented interesting concepts for opening a new pharmacy or purchasing an existing one. Although the team did not take home the top prize, they did celebrate the achievement of their clinical pharmacy professor, Dr. Karleen Melody.

Dr. Melody was named the 2015 Distinguished Young Pharmacist for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania during the PPA Leadership Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 3. The Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award, presented by Pharmacists Mutual Companies, is an annual award in each state designed to acknowledge young pharmacists for individual excellence and outstanding contribution to their pharmacy association and community.  

During her time at USciences, Dr. Melody has established clinical practice sites across West Philadelphia at SunRay Drugs, an independent pharmacy; and Sayre Health Center, a federally-qualified health center. Clinical services that she provides include medication therapy management, disease state management and immunizations.

“We placed our best bet at the annual PPA Conference and although we did not win first place in the student competition, we can say, with certainty, that we received much more in return,” said Swawa Thomas PharmD’18.

As for now, Thomas said the PCP students are looking forward to attending the PPA Midyear Conference in January so that they can continue to expand their knowledge and network.

Alumni Highlights from the PPA Annual Conference:

  • Julie Gerhart-Rothholz P'94 received the 2015 J. Allen Duffield Pharmaceutical Industry Award. This award is presented to a pharmacy professional who represents contributions to the betterment of the profession of pharmacy as well as supports the programs and activities of PPA.

    Gerhart-Rothholz began her career as a clinical consultant and medical editor at Springhouse Corporation and hovered between a clinical pharmacist and a community pharmacist in the years that followed. She currently works at Medvantage Publishing as a clinical consultant and Merck & Company, Inc., and has been actively involved in PPA since 2005.
  • Rosemarie Halt P'89, MPH'12 received the 2015 George H. Searight Community Service Award. This award is presented to an individual who enhances the image of the profession of pharmacy by demonstrating outstanding devotion and service to their community and PPA.

    Since her days at pharmacy school, Halt's dedication to service has been unwavering. She has received multiple awards from USciences, including the Student Service Award in 1989 and Young Alumnus Award in 2000. She has also been an active member in the Delaware County Pharmacists Association since 1996.


Pharmacy Alumnus is Now His Own Boss

ReneAfter 15 years of working in pharmacies, Rene Rodriguez PharmD'08 is now his own boss.

Rodriguez has put his Philadelphia College of Pharmacy education and experience to use by opening the doors of Tens Pharmacy, the only independent pharmacy in the Roseland/Essex Fells, New Jersey area. The store opened to the public on Monday, Aug. 3, but held its official grand opening celebration on Friday, Nov. 20.

Although Rodriguez is a resident of Parsippany, his decision to open a location in Roseland stemmed from hearing positive feedback about the area.

“This location caught my eye because the shopping center was really busy,” he said. “Eagle Rock Avenue is a great street with lots of small businesses. I read a lot about Roseland and it is a great place for that.”

Rodriguez has been working as a pharmacist for the past eight years after earning his doctor of pharmacy degree from University of the Sciences. However, he began his journey working in both independent and chain pharmacies nearly 15 years ago because of his keen interest in medicine and helping people around him live better.

Watching his father’s success with his business growing up inspired Rodriguez to pursue a similar path.

“My father definitely inspired me growing up,” he said. “Watching him putting the time and dedication made [owning a business] something I’ve always gravitated towards.

For Rodriguez, he plans to use his business to zero in on the needs of the patient and ensure their health is top-priority.

“My goal for the public is to care for everybody and make sure everyone’s living better and well-informed about the medication they take,” he said. “I want them to have less problems and have to go to the doctor less.”

He adds that while chain pharmacies have their place in the business, independent pharmacies offer a more personal approach to medication dispensing, as the business can work one-on-one with the patient in a way that big stores cannot.

“I’ve worked in a lot of independent pharmacies, and we’re more focused on working individually with the customers and providing the best customer service,” he said.

Rodriguez said that smaller pharmacies tend to focus more on customer service rather than the number of prescriptions filled or the amount of money being made. “We are more about the patients and seeing family’s grow. It’s more about the patients for the smaller guys,” Rodriguez said. “My goal is to call everybody by their first name when they come in.”

Tens Pharmacy not only focuses on the patient’s comfort by building personal relationships, but by offering medicine delivery as well. Rodriguez explained that the pharmacy will deliver medication straight to households free-of-charge, allowing patients who are sick to receive treatment right to their doorsteps. He also plans to make personal accommodations for patients who may be inconvenienced when picking up their medications.

“If a patient goes on vacation, we can work ways around that because I do not want to see anyone go without meds,” he said.

Continue reading Roseland's newest pharmacy focuses on personalized attention...


PCP Student Has Developed a Keen Interest in the Business Side of Pharmacy

PrincyJohnPrincy John PharmD’17 touts a laundry list of accomplishments as a pharmacy student and leader at University of the Sciences. Over the past four years, she has completed competitive pharmacy internships, organized the University’s annual Pinkathon fundraiser, and served as a student ambassador.

“USciences is filled with valuable experiences and if you are motivated to put yourself out there and make the most of every opportunity, you will have a lot to gain in return,” said John. “I cherish my faculty and staff mentors who have motivated me and believed in me throughout my college journey.”

John has particularly enjoyed her freedom to explore the different avenues of pharmacy through various courses and professional organizations offered on campus. By doing so, she developed a keen interest in the business side of the pharmaceutical industry and decided to pursue a minor in pharmaceutical and healthcare business.

As a pharmacy intern with Hahnemann University Hospital, John provides assistance in the compounding, preparation and distribution of medications, under the direct supervision of a registered pharmacist. She also performs tasks related to the daily operation of the pharmacy.

Last summer, John gained a unique set of skills as a clinical intern for a New Jersey-based healthcare communications firm, P-Value Communications. She was able to share her pharmacy and healthcare education with her team members so that they were able to understand the subject matter and develop successful marketing materials for their clients. John said she was oftentimes asked to explain diseases and conditions, interpret technical data, and conduct literature searches for her team.

Beyond her feats as a student-pharmacist, John said she is proud of the role she has played in organizing the Pinkathon event to raise money for breast cancer research.

“This event is truly a symbol of collaboration on campus because it continues to unite hundreds of USciences students from different campus organizations for the sole purpose of raising money for the Linda Creed Foundation,” she said.

She also remains active in several of USciences’ student-chapters of professional organizations, including Drug Information Association, American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists, and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

For now, John is focused on completing her doctor of pharmacy degree in 2017 and hopes to someday work for a pharmaceutical company where she can combine her dual interests in pharmacy and business.


PCP Grads Pursue Residency Programs at the Johns Hopkins Hospital

Ekeoha-ijeomaSoon after Ijeoma Ekeocha PharmD'09 graduated from University of the Sciences in 2009, she followed her dream career as a pharmacist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore

During her time as a hospital pharmacist, Dr. Ekeocha became particularly interested in emergency medicine, internal medicine, diabetes management, patient education, and academia. After five years in that role, Dr. Ekeocha recently made the decision to expand her knowledge and education in the field and became a pharmacy practice resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital earlier this year. She plans to continue her training with a second year specialty residency.

Dr. Ekeocha said she is thankful to the hospital’s pharmacy department for providing her with a unique opportunity that will help her achieve her goal of becoming a clinical faculty member at a large academic institution.

Tolan-meghanRecent graduate Meghan E. Tolan PharmD’14 is also wrapping up a two-year health-system pharmacy administration residency at Johns Hopkins. This competitive program also gave her a chance to pursue an MBA in healthcare management at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

Dr. Tolan’s professional interests, include quality improvement, regulatory affairs, clinical and operational management, transitions of care, academia, and professional pharmacy organizations. She currently serves as the resident member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Commission on Credentialing.


PCP Student Explored Regulatory Side of Pharma Through Eli Lilly and Company Internship

Naiya_patelWith more than a year to go until she completes her doctor of pharmacy degree, Naiya Patel PharmD’17 has already got a dose of various aspects of the pharmaceutical industry. She has completed internships in regulatory affairs, research and development, and retail pharmacy to help identify her career niche, and most recently worked as a regulatory intelligence intern with Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis.

“The enduring legacy of the Lilly name at University of the Sciences is one of great pride, so it was a real honor and privilege for me to use my pharmacy education and training during my summer internship with Eli Lilly and Company,” said Patel.

USciences has launched the careers of many innovative and pioneering individuals in the field of healthcare, including the founders of six of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. Among those companies is Eli Lilly and Company, which was established by Dr. Eli Lilly (Class of 1907) and his father, Josiah K. Lilly (Class of 1882).

The Lilly legacy at USciences continues today, as the special relationship between the two institutions is acknowledged through scholarship and internship programs. The Eli Lilly and Company Internship Program offers USciences students, like Patel, a unique opportunity to spend a summer in Indianapolis gaining firsthand work experience in their field.

As a regulatory intelligence intern, Patel was charged with gathering and analyzing regulatory information for impact or changes pertaining to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s laws, procedures, and guidelines. She also reviewed industry-related literature and news about the pharmaceutical industry as well as documented and organized technical file information.

"One of the aspects of this internship that was of great value was the ability to have one-on-one meetings with employees from different departments within the company," said Patel. "I truly learned of the various opportunities that this industry has to offer for pharmacists as well as expanded my professional network." 

Of special interest and importance to Patel is that she was able to present her research to the regulatory intelligence department at Eli Lilly and Company, including Robert Metcalf, vice president of global regulatory affairs.

Patel also previously held a summer internship with Emcure Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., in Brunswick, New Jersey, where she was exposed to the research and development side of the industry. Over the past year, she has also gained retail pharmacy and patient engagement experience at Aspire Pharmacy, an independent community pharmacy in West Philadelphia.

Aside from her practical work experience, Patel also serves as president of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy student chapter at USciences. This professional organization is open to all pharmacy students with an interest in managed health care. Its mission is to promote and develop the application of pharmaceutical care in order to ensure appropriate health outcomes for all individuals.

Daraprim – The Ultimate Drug Pricing Outrage?

Drug priceBy Dr. Daniel A. Hussar, the Remington Professor of Pharmacy at University of the Sciences' Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. He serves as the author and editor of The Pharmacist Activist newsletter from which this editorial was taken.

Pyrimethamine (Daraprim) was initially approved in the United States in 1953 for the treatment of patients with malaria. It was subsequently determined to be of value in the treatment of toxoplasmosis, a relatively uncommon but sometimes fatal parasitic infection for which patients with compromised immune systems (e.g., patients with AIDS) are at greatest risk. Pyrimethamine is a component of the regimen that has been considered to be the most effective treatment for toxoplasmosis.

Pyrimethamine was originally developed and marketed by the Burroughs Wellcome Company (subsequently acquired by the company now known as GlaxoSmithKline). Following expiration of its patent, the product and its trade name Daraprim have been acquired and marketed by several other companies. Generic formulations of the drug have either been unavailable or available on only a limited basis because the drug is used so infrequently that generic companies have not considered it commercially feasible to market. As recently as 5 years ago, the cost of Daraprim was about $1 a tablet. The US marketing rights to the drug in the United States were sold by GlaxoSmithKline in 2010, and the rights to the drug have been sold several additional times during the last five years. In the period preceding August, 2015 Daraprim was marketed by Impax Laboratories at a cost of $13.50 a tablet.

Turing Pharmaceuticals

In August, 2015 Impax sold Daraprim to Turing Pharmaceuticals. Shortly prior to that time Impax discontinued distributing the drug through the traditional pharmacy system and restricted its availability to a controlled distribution system, resulting in only very limited supplies of the drug remaining available in general distribution.

The CEO of Turing is a former hedge fund manager and a former CEO of a small pharmaceutical company (Retrophin), another company that acquired an older infrequently prescribed drug (tiopronin [Thiola] for the prevention of cystine kidney stones) that was not available from other sources, and then markedly increased its price.

Following its purchase of Daraprim in what has been described in commentaries as an "overnight" price increase, Turing raised the price of Daraprim from $13.50 a tablet to $750 a tablet. The company and its CEO initially attempted to justify the price increase by describing it as a great business decision that would be of benefit for all of its stakeholders. The previous price was identified as unprofitable and the drug was portrayed as being so infrequently prescribed that the impact of the price increase would be minuscule. The Turing CEO was quoted as saying, "This isn't the greedy drug company trying to gouge patients, it is us trying to stay in business" (New York Times, September 20).


Daraprim is not the first drug for which the availability of an older drug has been limited/restricted/controlled with a resultant sharp increase in its price. Examples include tiopronin, doxycycline, cycloserine, isoproterenol, repository corticotropin injection (H.P. Acthar Gel), and hydroxyprogesterone caproate (Makena). However, the outrage regarding the Daraprim price increase from patients, health professionals, legislators, Presidential candidates, and the public has been immediate and intense. This response is certainly due, in large part, to the huge amount of the price increase, profit being the single motivation for the increase, and the arrogance of the company and its CEO in attempting to justify the increase. This situation has also occurred during a time period in which numerous concerns have been voiced about the prices of many drugs, including important drugs for chronic hepatitis C infection, cholesterol-regulating drugs with a unique mechanism of action, and many anticancer drugs.

The Daraprim experience has become a "lightning rod" that has galvanized attention to all examples and reasons for which many have concerns about drug prices. It has to be the worst nightmare for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) that represent the interests of the pharmaceutical companies, and are very concerned that their member companies' motives and actions might be considered to be similar to those demonstrated by Turing. BIO issued the following statement in response to the Daraprim situation:

"Turing Pharmaceuticals was a member of BIO for a brief period of time and is currently no longer a member. The company and its leadership do not reflect the commitment to innovation and values that are at the core of BIO's reputation and mission. For that reason, BIO determined, after a review of Turing's membership status, that the company did not meet our eligibility criteria, and we took action to rescind its membership and return its membership dues."

I commend BIO for taking this action. However, an evaluation of "the commitment to innovation and values" of certain other companies is also warranted. Although the price increase and statements from Turing may be the most blatant and arrogant to date, some other companies are also engaged in similar practices that are motivated only by the anticipation of large profits.

The storm of criticism and anger regarding the price increase for Daraprim resulted in an announcement from Turing several days later that it would lower the price although, at the time this is being written, the reduced price had not yet been identified. Turing also attempted to convey a message that the higher price was needed to fund research regarding toxoplasmosis and the development of educational programs and new drugs from which patients would benefit. It also indicated that the medication would be provided to patients with financial need. However, its singular motivation for high profits had already been exposed, and its belated attempt to claim it was interested in patients only further eroded its credibility.

A better outcome

The antitubercular drug cycloserine was developed in the 1950s but is seldom used in current therapy. However, it is of value in the treatment of patients with potentially life-threatening multi-drug resistant tuberculosis that is resistant to conventional antitubercular regimens. Cycloserine capsules have been supplied by The Chao Center, a nonprofit organization that is part of the Purdue Research Foundation, at a cost of $480 for 30 capsules. It recently sold the product to Rodelis Therapeutics. When it was learned that Rodelis planned to increase the price of cycloserine to $10,800 for 30 capsules, Chao requested that the rights to the drug be returned. The two companies agreed that the sale of the drug would be canceled and the rights to the drug were returned to Chao. Although Chao considers it necessary to raise the price to approximately $1,050 for 30 capsules, this is only about one-tenth of the price Rodelis had planned to charge.

Other options

The Daraprim experience represents an abuse of the drug distribution system and undermining of its already fragile financial viability. These situations must not be tolerated. One strategy is to have the company that initially obtained approval for the drug or a generic pharmaceutical company supply the drug at a low profit margin. The situation described above in which cycloserine is supplied by a nonprofit organization is a variation of this approach.

Another option is to have compounding pharmacists obtain the medication and prepare the appropriate dosage forms. Although there are restrictions with respect to pharmacists compounding formulations that are commercially available, this situation needs to be reconsidered and exceptions to the restrictions explored.

Another option is to obtain certain medications from a Canadian pharmacy. I have not been an advocate for US residents obtaining medications from Canada and other countries. However, it is my understanding that pyrimethamine tablets cost between $6 and $7 each from a Canadian pharmacy, compared to $750 that Turing was planning to charge in the US. This difference can't be justified and current restrictions must be reconsidered.

The concerns about the prices for new drugs and other drugs that still have patent protection are complex and beyond the scope of this commentary. However, for older drugs for which the patents have expired, the options identified above should be actively pursued to prevent greedy profiteers from exploiting the drug distribution system by restricting availability and charging astronomical prices. Pharmacists, other health professionals, and patient groups must work with legislators and the Food and Drug Administration to remove restrictions that currently limit the extent to which affordable medications can be provided for patients.


PharmTox Alum Valued 'Large Breadth of Resources' Available at USciences

082Recognizing the valuable role her pharmacology and toxicology education has played in her career, Erina Jacinto Ph/Tox’09 returned to University of the Sciences to offer words of advice to current undergraduate students during the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences’ second annual Student Recognition Ceremony on Oct. 2. Her most important take-home message to the students was to become more familiar with the large breadth of resources USciences has to offer, and take advantage of them.

During her time at USciences and shortly thereafter, Jacinto was involved in an elaborate research project with her faculty mentor Peter Harvison, PhD, measuring the effects of hepatotoxic agents on HepG2 cells. Her involvement in this research project resulted in her co-authorship of two papers in prominent toxicology journals.

After completing her research, she accepted a position with Merck through Lancaster Laboratories—where she worked in the lab as a biologist before being promoted to a group supervisor. Within two years of graduating from USciences, Jacinto was responsible for overseeing a team of analysts who performed good manufacturing practice evaluations on the varicella virus.

Throughout her four year career with Lancaster Labs, Jacinto played a pivotal role in standardizing the testing schedule and lab space using Six Sigma principles to increase efficiency—which resulted in a 50 percent reduction in assay lead-time and doubling of sample throughput.

Jacinto now works as a remote site monitor for Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC—a contract research organization in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. In this role, she oversees clinical trials which are executed according to federal regulations, as well as reviews study data from various sources, collects study documentation, resolves issues, and requests outstanding information. Jacinto also went on to complete her MS in pharmaceutics from Temple University in 2014.

Philadelphia College of Pharmacy held its second annual Student Recognition Ceremony for undergraduate students in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. This ceremony recognized the importance of the bachelor of science programs in helping the college fulfill its mission.

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