As the son of an independent pharmacy owner, Robert Mauch, (1994 Ph.D. pharmaceutical sciences), had a strong sense that pharmacy would be his career calling.
“Because of the familiarity I had with pharmacy and the broad spectrum of things that you could do with it – be a pharmacist, work in industry, own a business – I was attracted to it because of the flexibility,” Mauch says.
Mauch, who earned his Doctor of Pharmacy from Mercer University, credits the reputation of the pharmaceutical sciences program in choosing USC to pursue his Ph.D. in Pharmacy Administration. He also had friends who were in the program, and he says Gene Reeder, professor emeritus and director of Outcomes Research for the USC College of Pharmacy, was a significant reason for his decision to attend South Carolina.
After graduation, Mauch headed to Tampa, Florida, to start his own company, Xcenda, that would launch his career in the pharmaceutical industry.
Xcenda is a strategic consulting firm, applying expertise in health economics and outcomes research, reimbursement, health policy, market research and market access strategy to introduce new pharmaceutical products to the market. The company was acquired in 2007 by AmerisourceBergen Corp. The pharmaceutical sourcing and distribution services company helps both health care providers and pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturers improve patient access to products and care.
After holding several roles within the company, Mauch now serves as executive vice president and chief operating officer for AmerisourceBergen.
Mauch believes it was the relationships he developed at the College of Pharmacy and the motivation provided by the faculty that had a defining impact on his career.
“It still influences me today,” Mauch says. “There was an atmosphere of respect, inclusiveness and professional comradery that the faculty had with the students, which is rare. The entire team worked together in a way that you felt comfortable but also felt pushed."
“We were taught to do things in a methodical, rigorous way that has real meaning to people and to health care,” he says. “I could start a business with no experience because I had skills and training, and that all goes back to the team I worked with and Gene’s thought leadership.”
Mauch encourages students to consider what they can create with a graduate degree and with a Ph.D. in particular.
“There is still a mostly unmet need to better support understanding around the total economic value of a therapy versus the face value cost of a drug,” he adds. “In this, there is a tremendous opportunity to make an impact on people’s lives by doing good research and influencing thoughtful and data-driven health policy. USC is uniquely positioned to do that and to motivate people in their careers.”