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by Amanda Siewert

Amanda Siewert Drugs, and more commonly vitamins and mineral supplements, have become a part of our everyday routine. There is an entire area of scientific research dedicated to delivery of these formulations to our body in a concentration that is most effective and a form that is best absorbed. I came to know about this topic recently because of my job requirements. I come from the technical service division of a pharmaceutical company. My projects require me to take care of cleaning product contact equipment to mitigate any carryover from the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) of the drug.

In order to be successful at my job, I have to know the history of products and how each API or excipient acts, or reacts, with one another. Opportunities for professional development to learn more about the science behind my job would ultimately help on that path to success. But an obstacle I face is my company’s budget for training events. Maybe, needless to say it is always last on the agenda and usually comes down to finding the time and money for advanced training.

These hurdles led me to look for professional development opportunities that would fit into my company’s time and budget restraints. That is when I found out about a course on “Hands-On Course on Tablet Technology,” conducted by the School of Pharmacy at the University of Mississippi, which gives a tour through the process of making tablets out of the active ingredient that is in liquid or powder form. I took this one-week crash course in [Spring 2013}, and it turned out to be perfect for me to learn a totally new aspect: the solid dosage formulation. It also gave an overview of the quality control of drug formulation, which is an important step a company must take before dispensing out the tablet batch.

I gained a lot from this course considering the short period. It gave me hands-on training of tableting, as well as the overview. Fellow attendees also seemed to be very satisfied with the amount of information we absorbed within such a short time. I saw that this course catered to people coming from widely diverse fields with no former experience. We had people from the food industry and some from business backgrounds in addition to those from pharmacy and research fields.

I also discovered the training course “Pharmacokinetics & Pharmacodynamics of Protein Therapeutics” offered by the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, which provides in-depth information regarding the process of how the body metabolizes drugs and how long drugs remain in the body in different forms before they are excreted. That is going to be my next crash course target. But for now I made full use of the training that I received in the tableting course, and the knowledge I gained will help me in successfully completing my work.

Do you know of other useful continuing education courses in pharmaceutical science?

Amanda Siewert is a 9 year veteran for a Global BioPharma Company. She has a Master’s of Science degree in Biology, and has held various Quality positions. Her current position is a Validation Engineer responsible for the cleanability of equipment between API.