September / October 2023

Women in Pharma® Editorial: Transcending Boundaries and Making Connections Matter

Vivien E. Santillan
Women in Pharma® Editorial: Vivien E. Santillan

For the past few months, ISPE Asia Pacific Affiliates and Chapters have been busy reconnecting with colleagues through in-person conferences. Collaboration, innovation, and technology are common themes; events also incorporate quality culture and excellence.

In these conferences, the Women in Pharma® committee of each Asia Pacific Affiliate engages with students, Emerging Leaders, and industry members; attends quality programming for personal and professional growth; and engages in a platform that acts as a catalyst for community development.

ISPE Shanghai—Launch of Women in Pharma®

Shanghai ISPE Pharmaceutical Information Company (ISPE Shanghai) held its 2023 Global Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Engineering Forum & ISPE China Annual Conference 26–27 May in Hangzhou, China. The conference, led by ISPE Shanghai, focused on the latest regulatory guidelines and expectations from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The conference also highlighted ISPE Shanghai’s Communities of Practice, with Women in Pharma launching through a networking activity.

As Co-Chair of Women in Pharma, I was given an opportunity to present Women in Pharma’s mission and objective and to share how ISPE members can benefit from its programs. Tina Lan, Chair of the ISPE Shanghai Women in Pharma committee and a Computer System Validation (CSV) Consultant of PQE Group presented the plans of the committee, including the mentorship program. The WeChat group for ISPE members, who are interested in joining and supporting the mentorship program, was also officially launched.

Indonesia Affiliate—Building Confidence

The Indonesia Affiliate’s conference was held 6–7 June with the theme of: Technology Innovation—Adhering to Ethical Behavior and Ensuring Patient Safety. A Women in Pharma exclusive luncheon was held on day 2. The event provided its Women in Pharma members with a venue to discuss personal growth, with a session on building confidence in the workplace. There was lively interaction and exchange of insights among 22 women. The event ended on a high note with inspiration and motivation for boosting one’s self-confidence.

We look forward to the ISPE community expanding and, more important, driving the mission and vision of Women in Pharma.

Philippines Affiliate—Highlighting Influential Women

This past June, the Philippines Affiliate celebrated its 15th anniversary, and what a celebration it was! Between 14–15 June, over 200 attendees gathered at the Conrad Manila for the ISPE Philippines Affiliate’s 15th Anniversary Conference and Exhibition: Enabling Multi-Sectoral Collaboration Towards Innovation & Sustainability.

The excitement was evident as participants walked the expo hall and sat in sessions led by some of the region’s most impressive thought leaders. The goal was to create a conference that highlighted the diversity within our region and the ISPE global community and provided equal opportunity for thought exchange. Several female plenary speakers and panelists led the conversations, including:

Jesusa Joyce N. Cirunay, RPh
Director IV
Center for Drug Regulation & Research, Food and Drug Administration-Philippines
Joey Gouws, PhD
Team Lead, Inspection Services, Prequalification Team
World Health Organization
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Janeen SkutnikWilkinson
Director Regulatory Surveillance and External Engagement
Moderna Therapeutics
Diane L. Hustead
Executive Director, Regulatory Affairs
Merck & Co., Inc.
Ma. Lynn Rachelle A. Natividad
Food-Drug Regulation Officer III
Food and Drug Administration Phillippines
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University of the Philippines Manila
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Mary Joy Moreno
Arbour International Philippines

In addition to ensuring diversity within our panels and presentations, a Women in Pharma event was held on Wednesday evening. Though the event followed a long day of educational sessions and networking, a packed room of more than 50 participants joined the session.

Pharmaceutical companies in the Philippines and most local Southeast Asia pharmaceutical companies are medium-sized, conservative, and family-owned organizations, which makes them culturally different from multinational corporations. This culturally driven mindset was the focal point of the conversation on how to communicate quality and compliance to senior management. Senior executives, a quality practitioner, and a consultant from the Philippines served as panelists. Colleagues from the ISPE Malaysia Affiliate, led by their Women in Pharma Chair, Mae Lee, and Affiliate President, Zarina Noordin, also joined the event.

Collaborate—Making Connections Matter

As the ISPE Affiliates and Chapters in Asia Pacific continue their journeys to pharmaceutical excellence, we look forward to the ISPE community expanding and, more important, driving the mission and vision of Women in Pharma. We will continue to work together to create a more inclusive industry where diversity of thought thrives.

Asia is distinct in culture, tradition, and language, but Women in Pharma has proven that despite this diversity there is a common agenda to drive excellence professionally and personally that creates impact and contributions to the industry as we shape the future of the pharmaceutical industry.

The 2023 ISPE Annual Meeting & Expo will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, US, on 15–18 October. Women in Pharma will be hosting events throughout the week, and

there will be plenty of opportunities to network and discuss how we can work together, collaborate, and move the mission of Women in Pharma forward. Join us and make connections that matter.

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