Michael Ku: The Pharmacist with the Plan
The Pfizer VP of Global Clinical Supply is a proud MCPHS grad.
Michael Ku BSP '94, PharmD '96, MBA, charted an ambitious path through hospital, retail, and clinical pharmacy before becoming involved in the complex global clinical supply chain—he is now Vice President of Global Clinical Supply (GCS) at Pfizer.
Global clinical supply
Ku came to global clinical supply via a long and winding road. First, he earned a degree in toxicology at the University of Toronto, working part-time at Shoppers Drug Mart, a pharmacy retail chain, and Novopharm (now Teva Canada Limited), a large pharmaceutical company. The pharmacy exposure convinced Ku to change career paths by enrolling at MCPHS to earn his BSP — and fill the hospital pharmacy gap by working at New England Medical Center (now Tufts Medical Center) as a Pharmacy Technician/Intern.
He earned his PharmD from MCPHS in 1996, and branched into drug safety and then clinical supply at Astra Pharmaceuticals (now AstraZenica) before earning his MBA in 2000. That degree helped him leap to then-startup Genzyme (now Sanofi Genzyme), where he spent more than 13 years building Genzyme's global Clinical Research Pharmacy Services organization before moving to Pfizer.
"There is no typical day in supporting one of the largest clinical supply chains in our industry," says Ku, whose global team works to ensure that Pfizer's clinical trials and compassionate access programs receive products on time in more than 70 countries. As a result, Ku is frequently on the go, traveling among team outposts in North America, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
Despite persistent jet lag, the work is intensely satisfying to Ku, who observes that "as a clinical pharmacist, we typically take care of one patient at a time; in clinical research, when a product becomes commercially available, you have not only delivered hope, but have made a difference in the lives of many patients and their families all over the world."
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Ku shares his extraordinary breadth of biopharmaceutical experience with MCPHS in many ways: he is the Director of the Pfizer/MCPHS Biopharmaceutical Fellowship Program, an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, and a member of the MCPHS University Corporation.
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