Williams Ettouati, PharmD, On Meeting the Needs of a New Generation in Drug Development

The value of a drug company being first to market straddles the commercial benefit of snapping up market share, and then, of course, the more altruistic reward of improving lives. In either case, faster is better. According to Williams Ettouati, PharmD, managing director and associate clinical professor at Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the way to get there is by introducing a new generation of students to a more well-rounded education within all facets of drug process, from development to deployment. As such, UC San Diego’s Master of Science in Drug Development and Product Management was born.

Why combine the two disciplines, and why now?
We’re committed to preparing professionals to meet today’s needs of the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and managed care industries, and to excel in careers that didn’t exist just five or ten years ago. Our Drug Development and Product Management Master’s program draws upon those strengths across our campus, as well as the San Diego biotech and pharmaceutical research cluster, to create a multi-disciplinary, team-based training program that cannot be replicated by a student simply enrolling in a miscellany of existing classes.

Who should apply for this masters program?
This program focuses on building the managerial, regulatory and pharmacoeconomic skills and insight to equip graduates to effectively lead the complex facets of the drug development process from discovery to patient. This requires a diverse body of students, already working in the pharmaceutical, biotech, nursing, medicine and legal industries, in order to create real-life, tactical experience. Where varied disciplines may not have traditionally crossed, they soon will, and this holistic approach will streamline the ‘bench-to-bedside’ process more efficiently in the near future.

What can students expect after completing this program?
Not only does this program offer the only comprehensive, project-based curriculum, another unique feature of the program is that each student will complete an internship in a biotech or pharmaceutical company, providing employment and career advancement opportunities upon completion of the program.

So this is a ‘work-while-you-work’ program?
It’s more of a ‘continue-to-work-while-you-work-on-getting-ahead’ program. Classes will be held in the evenings, and the curriculum has been constructed to be as accommodating as possible to working professionals’ schedules. Few schools of pharmacy or medicine have programs quite like this one.

To learn more about the UC San Diego’s Master of Science Drug Development and Product Management Program, please visit ddpm.ucsd.edu/prospective-students, or attend a free information session.


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