School of Pharmacy News & Media Center
The University of Mississippi

Students, Recent Graduate Present at National Conference

Posted on: October 22nd, 2015 by enparson

Sujith Ramachandran (left), Nilesh Gangan, Benjamin Banahan and Kaustuv Bhattacharya

October 22, 2015

A team from the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmacy Administration presented a poster at a national health care conference after winning a case study competition conducted this summer.

Graduate students Sujith Ramachandran, Nilesh Gangan and Kaustuv Bhattacharya, as well as recent Ph.D. graduate Zainab Shahpurwala, gave a presentation related to their competition-winning abstract at the Pharmaceutical Marketing Research Group’s 2015 Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Oct. 5.

“It was a great experience getting an opportunity to present our award-winning poster at PMRG’s conference in front of experts in the pharmaceutical marketing industry,” Gangan said.

PMRG is a community of professionals that provides members and guests the ability to continue their education within health care marketing research. The university’s team entered PMRG’s inaugural case study competition in July.

“The case study protocol was aimed to try to help pharmaceutical companies overcome the challenges in the health care landscape created by the Affordable Care Act,” Ramachandran said. “In our abstract, we tried to recommend the best set of procedures or studies that a company would need to conduct in order to market a new oral anti-diabetic medication to Accountable Care Organizations.”

Donna West-Strum, chair of pharmacy administration, said she was thrilled that the University of Mississippi was represented at the conference and was particularly excited that a team from her department won PMRG’s first competition.

“Our students did a wonderful job solving a real-world health care issue – specifically, diabetes, which is so prevalent in Mississippi,” West-Strum said. “Sujith, Nilesh, Zainab and Kaustuv are deserving of this recognition. I’m very proud of them.”

Ramachandran, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences with a specialization in marketing, credited the pharmacy administration department for its support.

“It was a very satisfying moment,” he said. “It was a new experience for all of us, but our professors and our adviser Benjamin Banahan (pharmacy administration professor) gave us the best guidance we needed. We just hoped for the best.”

Ramachandran said he hopes that participating in this competition will enhance his career, as well as the careers of his fellow teammates.

“My long-term goal is to help drive health care policy in a national setting,” he said. “In the short term, I hope to do more research and gain some experience working for a pharmaceutical company.”