SPHS 4 19 17 Case Competition

School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Students Win “Value of Industry Pharmacists” Case Competition

During the IPhO National Student Meeting in San Francisco, Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) students approached the stage in front of 200 fellow IPhO members to receive an award for their creativity and knowledge of the drug development process.

The IPhO KGI chapter had just been awarded first place in the 1st Annual Value of Industry Pharmacists (VIP) Case Competition, designed to test their pharmaceutical industry knowledge and skills through an industry-based case scenario—the first of its kind in the industry.

Many of the 48 chapters in the IPhO National Student Chapter Network participated in this challenge  — how to create a comprehensive development plan for a new molecular entity, from initial concept all the way through to approval and marketing of the product. The case provided a brief description of a hypothetical new drug entity from which each participating chapter started this competition, and their commitment to identifying and applying their knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry commercialization process took the steering wheel from there.

“We are a newly-established chapter,” said Wendy Su, a third-year student in the KGI School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “To place first among 18 chapters throughout the nation has provided us great confidence of the pharmaceutical industry knowledge and skills we have developed through KGI’s curriculum. We are proud to represent KGI in this achievement and to have made a great introductory entrance into the pharmaceutical industry as future pharmaceutical industry pharmacists.”

Each participating IPhO student chapter, with the support of PharmD Industry Fellows from the IPhO National Fellows Community, worked for four months to develop a video presentation detailing their drug development plan. Importantly, each presentation included a description of the important role that pharmacists play in the new drug development process.

The IPhO VIP Case Competition enabled students to delve into multiple disciplines within the pharmaceutical industry including, but not limited to: Clinical Development, Medical Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, and Commercial functions. Each phase of the hypothetical drug’s lifecycle presented a unique challenge and enabled students to think outside the box and put their pharmaceutical industry skills to the test.

IPhO CEO James Alexander, who helped oversee the creation and execution of the 1st Annual Case Competition, said: “I have no doubt that the IPhO VIP Case Competition will thrive and become one of our organization’s centerpiece offerings for many years to come. It is clearly in line with our mission for our IPhO student pharmacist members, which is to help prepare them for a career in the pharmaceutical industry.” Dr. Alexander also added that, “we will seek to engage one or more pharmaceutical companies to support the 2017-18 competition and help student pharmacists learn more about the important role that pharmacists play in the drug development process.”

Building upon the great success of the 2016-17 competition, the IPhO National Fellows Council and the Student Development Committee are working to make the competition even better next year. The goal is to provide an even greater opportunity for pharmacy students nationwide to understand and experience the pharmaceutical industry, and to develop the next generation of student and industry pharmacist leaders.