Get Ahead in Mastering the Business of Pharmacy

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The Masters in Pharmacy Business Administration program is designed for emerging pharmacy professionals seeking executive positions who are interested in obtaining an in-depth understanding of the business of pharmaceuticals.

The Masters in Pharmacy Business Administration (MPBA) program is an exclusive collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. It is designed for emerging pharmacy professionals interested in obtaining an in-depth understanding of the business of pharmaceuticals and who are seeking executive positions.

The MPBA synergistically fuses the expertise of the schools of pharmacy and business, which is efficiently formatted for working professionals and offers specialized focus tracks in specialty pharmacy, community pharmacy, and managed care pharmacy.

The program lasts for a duration of 12 months, with classes held every other weekend on Friday and Saturday. It includes 3 immersion weeks in which the candidates are present on campus Monday-Friday. The program consists of 36 credits that build critical skills and expertise for pharmacy professionals seeking to substantially increase their business acumen and marketability.

The MPBA Experience

The MPBA is designed to accommodate a demanding schedule. In an executive program, it’s easy for life to feel overwhelming and hectic. The MPBA staff and teachers take this into full consideration and have designed a program that enhances the executive master’s experience by expediting registration, course material, schedules, and e-learning tools necessary for success in the program.

Classes run the length of a full business day to accommodate a standardized master’s program curriculum. In addition, in order to promote the highest level of information retention due to what sometimes may feel like a plethora of information on a typical day of class, all lectures are video recorded for convenient access on demand anytime, anywhere. The staff, who are also very vigilant in terms of making time for private and group recitations, provide encouragement and serve as a reliable guide for each student’s individual journey throughout the MPBA experience.

Graduates of The MPBA Program are Able to:

  • Identify and propose innovative and dynamic solutions to common business problems in the broader context of an evolving health care industry.
  • Discuss payer contracting and network strategies as they apply nationally and regionally to the business.
  • Use contemporary methods to assess inputs for valuation models, the impact of risk on valuation, and how these models help in decisions related to capital budgeting, asset acquisitions, and the capital structure of corporations.
  • Develop and utilize a managerial budget to maximize organizational efficiency, including expense reduction strategies, to support rational managerial decision-making.
  • Discuss the influence of changing technologies, public policy directives, and competitive requirements as they affect decisions related to staffing, compensation, employee relations, and human resource development.
  • Identify and discuss operational and tactical aspects of multi-facility network management as well as its strategic implications, including the intricacies of the underlying tools, methodologies, and decision-support systems.

What is Required?

To gain admission into the MPBA program, 2 years of professional experience is recommended. Candidates with a PharmD or a Bachelor of Science (BS) in pharmacy will receive preferential admission.

Selection Criteria

  • A PharmD, BS in pharmacy, or an undergraduate degree from an accredited US institution or its equivalent is required. Candidates whose GPA was below 3.0 may be required to take the GMAT exam.
  • Your employer must indicate its willingness to provide you with sufficient time to complete your MPBA class schedule. In addition to time off, many candidates receive financial support from their employers; however, this is not required.

The final stage of the selection process is the interview. Interviews provide the school an opportunity to assess your motivation for enrolling in the MPBA program, the quality of your academic and professional experience, and your plans for personal and career growth.

What Does it Cost?

The investment for the University of Pittsburgh MPBA program is $58,050, paid in equal parts of $19,350 per term. Students traveling from out of town are responsible for all travel expenses.

All books, cases, and simulations and Microsoft Windows and program bundle software packages are included in the price of admission. Meals are provided during class sessions, breakfast, and lunch. Access to all University of Pittsburgh student resources such as libraries, fitness facilities, and public transportation are covered while on campus.

Curriculum

The MPBA faculty created a pharmacy management-focused curriculum that encompasses the business concepts and analytical tools used by successful health care executives.

The 36 credit curriculum is comprised of 18 credits of graduate business courses, 12 credits of pharmacy business administration courses, and 6 credits that allow students to further develop their business acumen in a focused industry track.

Advantages

One of the most attractive elements about the program beside the invaluable knowledge and skillsets learned is the opportunity to collaborate with health care business professionals from all different backgrounds and specialties. Classmates, as well as guest speakers, are able to offer their unique insight into the exciting and forever growing business that is pharmacy. The dual benefit of having classmates to bounce ideas off of and the access to proven leaders and potential mentors in the business of pharmacy empowers all students in the program to realize and manifest their individual success throughout their current and future careers in pharmacy.

Potential Hurdles

A word of caution however, this program is definitely time consuming. Time and stress management skills are crucial if one is to succeed during their MPBA experience. Because the program and class schedules can seem rather condensed, making sure you exercise self-discipline and dedication to your studies is a must. But if you exercise confidence and resilience, there is no reason to believe that you will not succeed in your endeavors.

A Unique Program

All MBA programs are designed to further develop the business aptitude of students in their quest to become successful titans in their career endeavors—and the MPBA program is no exception. This unique program is full of learning and opportunities to nurture, mature, enhance, and expand students’ understanding and passion for pharmacy.

So many students who have already graduated from this program credit their individual success and places in business to what the learned and extracted from their MPBA experience. This program not only produces competent and qualified professionals, but it also undoubtably produces influential and successful leaders.

About the AuthorNicole Kruczek, BS Pharm, earned her BS in Pharmacy degree from Temple University and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Pharmacy Business Administration (MPBA) program at the University of Pittsburgh, a 12-month, executive-style graduate education program designed for working professionals striving to be tomorrow’s leaders in the business of medicines. She has spent the last two decades in management roles in various pharmacy operations in long-term care, specialty, and PBM.

Ryan Stept, MSc earned his Masters of Science in Healthcare Administration from Saint Joseph's University and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Pharmacy Business Administration program at the University of Pittsburgh. The program is a 12 month executive-style, graduate education program where health care professionals obtain an in-depth understanding of the business of medicines. Currently, Ryan works for the University of Pittsburgh, School of Pharmacy, Program Evaluation and Research Unit as a research specialist. Ryan’s research is primarily focused on the opioid epidemic and provides technical assistance to stakeholders across the commonwealth in their mutual efforts to reduce opioid death rates in Pennsylvania.