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Alumna Explores Various Career Possibilities in Pharma Industry

By Jenna Pizzi

Published on August 12, 2021

Peluso NguyenOver the last 21 years, Roseann Peluso Nguyen PharmD’94 has explored the many possibilities that have come her way as a pharmacist working at a large pharmaceutical company. Dr. Nguyen, who is global head of medical affairs strategy and execution at Janssen, has worked in many aspects of the business, something she’d never expected to experience when she first graduated.

“I had no idea of the possibilities when I was in PharmD school,” said Dr. Nguyen. “I realized there was a whole new world of opportunities for people like me and others. There Is no limit to what you can do.”

Dr. Nguyen began at Ortho McNeil Pharmaceutical, which is now Janssen, the pharmaceutical sector of parent company Johnson & Johnson. After a brief stint as a clinical pharmacist in medical information and drug evaluation at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Dr. Nguyen came to Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Sciences and worked in the Office of Professional Services.  She then was recruited to a managed markets consultant company, where she was able to develop strong relationships with the pharmaceutical industry and was able to get some insights on the type of jobs available.  She joined the pharmaceutical industry at Johnson & Johnson as medical information specialists.  After some time working in medical information, she decided to utilize her business skills from her prior consulting job to transition into a marketing role.

“I don’t have an MBA. I never worked in a marketing role. But I got myself onto the launch of a product at an entry level marketing role and quickly navigated the marketing chain and opportunities came my way,” she said.

Seeking to diversify her experience and career journey at Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Nguyen she progressed her career by moving back and forth from various medical affairs and commercial roles, each one with increased management and leadership responsibilities.  In medical affairs, she has been in management roles leading medical science teams, then onto health economics, medical education, and most recently global medical affairs.  In commercial, her roles included various product management positions and leading account executives’ teams in the payer and institutional business., where she launched numerous block-buster products.    By going back forth from medical to commercial, it provided her with different perspectives and a wide range of skills. Her current role in global medical affairs, she works on early development assets, and she said, is a culmination of all the skills she’s gained over the years, giving a full circle view from of product development from beginning to end.

“Getting a PharmD sets you up to be a perfect candidate for this industry,” she said. “You could work in many different roles such clinical, marketing, business, sales. It is the foundation of your education that really spearheads you into these unbelievable opportunities.”

Dr. Nguyen’s advice for students is simple: request a rotation in the pharmaceutical industry and to meet people and ask about all the different jobs that exist within the company.   It will give students the chance to network and understand the possibilities. Most of all, she said, pursue what really makes you happy and you will be much more successful in your career.

Categories: News, Alumni, Proven Everywhere, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, Pharmacy