As part of our “Throwback Thursday” blog series, we’re taking a look at a topic that’s currently in the news and tagging it with previous research, videos or commentaries in a relevant way. As the saying goes, “what’s old is new again” – and we hope you enjoy our wonky twist on #TBT.
The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) has long been a proponent of education. Since it was founded in 1953, NPC has been carrying out its mission to supply research, analysis and information about the impact of the biopharmaceutical industry on the health of our country by engaging stakeholders, conducting research on key health policy issues, and providing education about the importance of evidence, innovation and the value of medicines for patients.
In 1959, NPC launched an educational program, the Summer Industry Internships for Pharmacy Students (and our #TBT pick of the week), designed to strengthen the relationship between the industry and the pharmacy community. The annual pharmacy internship program, a joint project between NPC and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), placed pharmacy students in summer internships within NPC’s member companies in an effort to increase understanding between the two disciplines. Each year, approximately 100 pharmacy students spent 10-12 weeks obtaining hands-on experience at pharmaceutical companies.
The partnership program lasted for decades, and continued until 1994 when APhA became the sole administrator and NPC shifted its focus to other research and educational activities. APhA’s educational programs also evolved over the years, and the organization now offers two opportunities for student pharmacists to gain experience in association management and leadership.
Former interns still approach NPC and APhA sharing stories about the program. Former intern Anthony Spalitto said, “The NPC Program was the catalyst that provided me the opportunity to pursue my goal of a career in the pharma industry. In pharmacy school, you don’t hear much about opportunities for pharmacists outside of traditional retail or hospital pharmacy. Fact is, there are countless opportunities in the industry for pharmacists to have successful careers in a vast array of areas, including R&D, Clinical Research, Regulatory Affairs, Sales and Marketing, Managed Care and others.
“I was an NPC intern at Marion Laboratories back in 1987, was hired on full-time and never looked back. I have held many different roles in R&D as well as Commercial and Health Care Systems Marketing, and I am now the Director and Head of Strategic Pharmacy Services for Teva Pharmaceuticals Internal Specialty Pharmacy,” said Spalitto.
If you participated in the internship, then NPC would love to hear from you, too. NPC Vice President of Membership and Operations Kathryn Gleason created a LinkedIn group to serve as a forum to recount experiences and reconnect with other program participants.
As Ms. Gleason explained, “During exhibit programs at national meetings, I often meet former interns who share incredible stories about their experience in the Summer Internship program. The LinkedIn group offers another opportunity for former interns to share their experience and to reconnect with their past colleagues. I’m looking forward to hearing from more of the program participants and hearing their unique stories.”
Are you a former NPC intern, or do you know someone who participated in the program? We encourage you to join the LinkedIn group today to discuss how the program shaped your career choices, reconnect with your fellow interns and share the information with your colleagues who may have been involved with the internship. If you have any questions about the program or would like to learn more, please contact Alex Moorhead.