From Thailand to St. Louis: A Global Perspective on Pharmacy

Published on 22 November 2021

In 2007, P4 student Veeraya “Vicky” Kullavanijaya graduated with a degree in pharmacy from Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand.

As a registered pharmacist in Thailand, she started her pharmacy journey as a medical sales representative, after which, she was promoted to a product specialist for Novo Nordisk, a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Bagsværd, Denmark.

When the opportunity arose, Kullavanijaya took a chance and moved across the world to complete her Master of Business Administration, with an emphasis in supply chain management, at Saint Louis University.

After completing her degree, Kullavanijaya moved back to Thailand to continue working in pharmaceutical supply chain and inventory management as a supply chain supervisor with Zuellig Pharma, a pharmaceutical distributor headquartered in Singapore.

“In Thailand, the pharmacy industry is focused on marketing and manufacturing,” she added. “In the United States, there are a variety of opportunities to work within clinical, community and industry settings, conduct research and more.”

Longing to be closer to her husband and his family, Kullavanijaya returned to St. Louis and began exploring ways to expand her clinical pharmacy knowledge.

“I looked at several different schools in the Midwest and discovered that University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis (UHSP) aligned best with my career pursuits,” she added. “After learning more about the University and its clinical offerings, residency programs and established alumni network, I knew this would be the perfect place to build upon my existing knowledge.”

Now in her final year at UHSP, Kullavanijaya has set her sights on completing her Doctor of Pharmacy and using her experience to improve patient care through clinical practice.

“I chose UHSP because of the emphasis it places on providing patient-centered care,” she said. “Because of my work experiences abroad, I was able to see different avenues within pharmacy, and I know I want to utilize my pharmacy skills to do my part to help improve patient outcomes.”

Using her newly acquired knowledge of immunology, molecular biology, genetics and clinical research, Kullavanijaya plans to put what she learned in the classroom at UHSP into real-world practice.

“The field of pharmacy has significantly expanded since I first graduated from pharmacy school,” she said. “My time at UHSP and the wide variety of knowledge and skills I have gained have better prepared me to work in a clinical pharmacy setting and provided me with the opportunity to meet outstanding faculty, preceptors, lecturers and alumni who are leaders in their respective fields.”

Kullavanijaya has also been able to grow her experience and knowledge through participation in the University’s Alumni Leadership Forum elective course. The course exposes students to different career paths available within the profession of pharmacy and allows them to build connections with University alumni.

“The course helped me realize opportunities beyond the traditional career paths associated with pharmacy,” she added. “I learned more about business consulting, health economics and outcomes research, and gained a better idea of careers that I may want to pursue after graduation.”

University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis offers a unique opportunity for alumni and professional students to build connections through its Alumni Leadership Forum elective course.

The course features alumni guest speakers who have built successful careers in various sectors of the pharmacy profession, including the pharmaceutical industry, higher education, health care organizations, business and entrepreneurial markets and public service organizations.

With your support, we can continue to nurture the career growth and well-being of students through programs like the Alumni Leadership Forum.

Learn how you can get involved at

This story was first published in the fall 2021 issue of Script Magazine. To view past issues of Script, visit the Script Magazine archive.

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