Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist May 2013 Contents Australian Pharmacist May 2013 I © Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Kirsten is not the only pharmacist looking
to pharma for a career path outside the
community pharmacy mindset.
‘ We have a number of staff members
right across the company who are trained
pharmacists. They work in areas such as
quality assurance (QA), regulatory affairs,
medical, sales representative teams,
medical liaison teams and marketing.
‘Pharmacy is a very valuable degree for
anybody in the industry. It’s just a perfect
‘ The only advice I’d give to people is –
keep looking for areas you’re interested
in, are passionate about and you’ll always
do a great job. The same advice works for
While internationally AbbVie was
established in January, in Australia it
separated from Abbott in mid-2012.
Just in time to be named as the 10th
most innovative company in Australia
by BRW Magazine.
AbbVie was the only biopharmaceutical
company listed alongside other highly
regarded local and global companies
from diverse industries.
The company was recognised as one of
Australia’s most innovative companies
for creativity both inside and outside the
laboratory which is due to a different
approach to innovation in research
techniques, focus on health outcomes,
business operations, and how employees
contribute to the company’s mission.
This emphasis on innovation is evident
through AbbVie’s heavy involvement in
Kirsten said that trials were a side of the
industry of which many people were
‘AbbVie spends $18 million a year on
clinical trials, and presently there are
5,500 patients in a significant number of
sites (350). Australia and New Zealand
combined are one of the top three
contributors outside the US in terms
of the number of patients and sites
participating in AbbVie supported trials.
‘It’s a significant contribution to the
Australian economy, not just from AbbVie
but from all the pharma companies.
‘Clinical trials give access to patients
early. We’ve put money into Australian
hospitals, into research centres and it’s
something we should be very proud of.
It’s actually something as an industry we
need to do a better job of promoting.
The outcome of industry’s contribution
are very real, especially in terms of the
economy – we’re an innovative market and
an employer of highly skilled workers.
‘I work closely with our global and local
teams promoting Australia as a great
destination to conduct clinical research,
and trying to secure clinical trials here,’
‘One of the areas we are working on
currently is our hepatitis C portfolio.
That’s one of the products we hope to
bring to market over the next few years,’
Other research areas include immunology,
oncology, and neuroscience.
Another priority for AbbVie is pharmacists.
Ms O’Doherty said: ‘something we are
starting to explore is – how can we work
more with pharmacy?
‘Pharmacists are at the forefront of
actually communicating and talking with
patients. And that’s something that we
are very focussed on – particularly this
year and moving forward – that is, how
can we support patients better? How can
we provide comprehensive patient
support programs and information,
and better understand the challenges
‘Pharmacy is the ideal place to uncover
this because they are talking to patients
each and every day. Listening to
pharmacists tell us about what they’re
doing for individual patients to achieve
better health outcomes is just one way.
‘If you look at our portfolio it is highly
specialty care-based. Patients living in the
community, often with chronic illnesses
and being treated over many years,’
The AbbVie portfolio in Australia includes
medicines such as Humira, Lucrin, Kaletra,
Duodopa and Sevorane.
‘For me, it’s been a
constant desire to
learn something new,
develop and make a
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