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Pitt’s School of Pharmacy and Katz School of Business Partner to Offer Course on Business and Medicine


The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Pharmacy and Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business are forming a milestone partnership and will begin by offering a unique course on the “business of medicines in health care.” This is the first step toward a dual doctor of pharmacy/MBA degree program. Beginning January 2008, the course will help prepare students to be senior leaders in the pharmaceutical and health care industries.

In an executive boardroom format, this interactive elective will engage students in a structured understanding of the business side of medicines in the health care industry and other related fields. For instance, students will study different leadership styles and corporate cultures in an organization, follow health spending on medicines longitudinally from consumer to product and service, discover how market conditions affect operations and profitability and learn about the executive’s career-development path.

“We are taking the first critical step to meet the strong demand for business leaders in health care and pharmacy,” said Gordon J. Vanscoy, Pharm.D., C.A.C.P., M.B.A., associate dean of business innovation and associate professor of pharmacy and therapeutics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. “This gives pharmacy and business students a unique opportunity to view the industry from the top and identify market and career opportunities.”

Top executives from the pharmaceutical and health care industries will instruct students on a weekly basis. Instructors will include:

* Diane P. Holder, president, UPMC Health Plan; president, UPMC Health Insurance Division; executive vice president, UPMC
* John P. Innocenti, president, UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside
* James P. Mastrian, special advisor of corporate strategy, RiteAid (Harrisburg, Pa.)
* George Paz, president and CEO, Express Scripts (St. Louis, Mo.)
* Michael L. Ryan, vice president and general manager of corporate accounts, Amgen (Thousand Oaks, Calif.)
* David M. Smith, owner, Gatti Pharmacy (Indiana, Pa.)
* Dr. Gordon J. Vanscoy, chairman and CEO, University Pharmacotherapy Associates, LLC (Naples, Fla.)

“This unique partnership facilitates a path for our future leaders and gives students a fortunate opportunity,” said Patricia D. Kroboth, Ph.D., dean of the School of Pharmacy. “We are very appreciative of the seed financial support from the UPMC Health Plan in supporting this course.”

Chartered in 1878, the School of Pharmacy is the oldest of the University of Pittsburgh’s Schools of the Health Sciences and ranked in the top 10 nationwide. The school is on the forefront of educating pharmacy’s future practitioners with its four-year Pharm.D. program and is a leader in research, with endeavors ranging from patient care outcomes and human clinical research to research in molecular genetics. Like the five other Schools of the Health Sciences, the School of Pharmacy is affiliated with the internationally renowned academic medical center, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which provides the region’s largest network of tertiary, specialty and community hospitals. Collectively, these facilities provide one of the nation’s most complete health centers for teaching, patient care and research in the health sciences. For more information about the school, visit

The Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business has been ranked consistently in the top 50 MBA programs in the United States. As one of the first business schools in America and one of the founding members of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business AACSB, Katz also is home to one of the first federally funded centers for international business and research. Its Techno-MBA program option has been ranked for the past five years among the top 20 programs of its kind in the world by U.S. News & World Report. The Katz School delivers a high quality business education that stresses experience-based learning and the development of an appropriate mix of hard and soft skills to ensure students’ success in a competitive, global marketplace. For more information about the school, visit


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