My career in Pharmacovigilance at Bayer
My Name is Nadiya Neyezzhalova and I currently work in the US Pharmacovigilance department of Bayer as an Assistant Director of Consumer Health. I oversee a Contract Research Organization (CRO) in handling of our Consumer Health and Women’s Health adverse events reports.
I am a pharmacist by background and graduated from Rutgers Pharmacy School in 2012. When I was in school I was always fascinated by the detailed process of various post-marketing activities. I had spent years studying safety profiles of various drugs thinking that the only way pharmacists can contribute to patient safety is by working either in a retail or in a hospital setting. I was determined to work in a hospital pharmacy post-graduation, as I had spent years working there as a pharmacy technician during my studies. During my final year of pharmacy school in 2012, I had an internship with Bayer’s Consumer Health Global Risk Management team. This was when I saw for the first time how much work is being done behind the closed doors of these companies. I had a great opportunity to meet many people from different departments. My goal was to learn as much as possible about the various activities that are done within the pharmaceutical industry and what it really means to be a pharmacist in a corporate environment.
Making a change for the better
By the end of my internship Bayer had exceeded my expectations in terms of varieties of fields that pharmacists can go into and pursue their careers. I had specifically expressed a great interest in the Pharmacovigilance department, as to me it was an area where one can actually have a great input on patient safety and make a true difference in someone’s life.
School was ending and so was my internship with Bayer, so I was yearning for a chance to make the right career move for myself. I was now standing at a fork in the road: one leading to my original dream of becoming a pharmacist in a hospital setting, and the other an unfamiliar but alluring venture into the pharmaceutical industry. For the time being I decided to make the pharmaceutical industry my primary career path while still working in the hospital part time to maintain my clinical experience and translate that experience into my new journey.
Working culture & career opportunities at Bayer
I came to understand that Bayer has a great work culture with motivated and goal-driven staff with constant focus on patient safety, efficiency and improvement. My colleagues fostered the idea of personal development along with other life values by providing a great sense of inspiration. Soon I was taking on the adverse events submissions function and performing quality check of my colleagues’ entry of safety reports. Bayer and Pharmacovigilance were offering me both the ability to become an expert in acquiring new skills like leadership and being efficient in a fast-paced and highly challenging environment.
In summer of 2014 I was offered a position to become a Lead for the Consumer Health safety data specialist team. I was both nervous but extremely grateful and confident to take on this new role. A few months later I was capable of managing many aspects of the Consumer Health triage group within the US local Pharmacovigilance organization.
While I was continuing to hone my skills in management and leadership, I also got the chance to take on various different projects, which included merging Consumer Health Pharmacovigilance group with Pharmaceutical’s, as well as being closely involved in an acquisition of a new Merck product portfolio.
In spring of 2015 I accepted an offer to become an Assistant Director to oversee the CRO handling of Consumer Health adverse events reports. I was given an opportunity to travel to Mumbai, India to onboard and mentor a new team. For nearly a month a few other colleagues and I had a chance to experience a different culture of India. Bayer not only gave me a chance to advance myself professionally but also provided me with a global and diverse perspective.
My journey is ongoing and I am looking forward to all future endeavors that Bayer will bring me.
Wonder about your career path?
If you are a health care professional and wonder if the pharmaceutical industry is the right place for you, read my story as one example of how my career evolved at Bayer. To date many pharmacy students come to me to hear my career story and are worried about making the right move. Take chances… Be flexible and open-minded… And think outside the box…everything we do is important one way or another, it’s all about you finding what you love to do and doing it the best way you can.
This post is also available in: German