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The Intern Files: 3 Takeaways from a Presentation with the SVP of Supply Chain Management
November 8, 2017 | Express Scripts
Annie worked as an intern in the Retail Channel Management department working with retail pharmacies on their networks.
As I think about my time as an intern in the Retail Channel Management department at Express Scripts, one word comes to mind: opportunity.
While I was given many opportunities during my internship, the one that stands out most is the Executive Speaker Series. During this series, interns gain exposure to the highest levels of the organization and hear directly from company leaders about their career journey and teachable moments along the way. A handful of interns even have the chance to interview an executive prior to his, or her, presentation and introduce them the day of the session.
I had the honor of interviewing and introducing Everett Neville, Express Scripts’ senior vice president of Supply Chain and Specialty. This allowed me to get to know him on a personal level, while also learning about his perspective on the future of supply chain, healthcare, and Express Scripts. Here are my favorite takeaways:
He has a favorite project.
During Everett’s many years at Express Scripts, his favorite project has been the SafeguardRx program. This is a specialty drug program that helps patients spend less and find a medication that works for them. When patients try a new specialty medication, there is a 1 in 3 chance it will be unsuccessful. Patients must take the medication for at least three months to see if it’s effective in improving their condition. If the medication is unsuccessful, an immense amount of money is wasted. That’s where Express Scripts is taking action. Assisting patients in receiving money back from the manufacturer allows them to try a different medication that may be a better fit. This is one of Everett’s favorite projects because it improves patient care and enables cross-functional collaboration between the clinical and supply chain departments.
Drug advertising has both positive and negative ramifications.
Ethics are always a popular topic in the healthcare and supply chain industries, so it wasn’t a surprise when Everett was asked his opinion on ethical practices of drug advertising. In his opinion, there is both a good and bad side to the issue. On the positive side, advertising a new drug can be helpful in raising awareness for treatments patients can receive. For example, if a patient was unable to find a solution for a minor condition they’ve previously worked with their doctor to manage, they might abandon their efforts. With the help of advertising, they become more aware of new medications that could treat their condition. On the negative side, advertising drugs may expose patients to medications that they don’t necessarily need.
Early career guidance is crucial.
When it comes to those just starting their careers, Everett had some very important guidance. He told us to always expect changes throughout our career paths, take smart risks early on, and be cautious when posting on social media. He also shared the value of continuously building a wide range of professional skillsets in this constantly changing world.
As I said before, opportunity is central to the work culture at Express Scripts. I’m grateful for the investment Express Scripts made in developing my skills this summer, and I have confidence that my entire intern class will continue to learn and grow. The opportunities at Express Scripts are present; it is up to you to seize them.
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