Indian American Pharmacists at the Helm of AACP, APhA, and ASHP

Published: May 29, 2024

For the first time, Indian Americans are serving concurrent terms as presidential officers at three of the leading U.S. pharmacy organizations. Anandi Law, BPharm, PhD, MS, FAPhA, is president-elect of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP); Nishaminy (Nish) Kasbekar, PharmD, BSPharm, FASHP, is president of ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists); and Alex C. Varkey, PharmD, MS, FAPhA, is president of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

Kasbekar is vice president and chief pharmacy officer at the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia. She earned her Bachelor of Science in pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and completed residencies in pharmacy practice and infectious diseases at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

James and David Mangan

The first Indian American to serve as ASHP president, Kasbekar was elected in 2022, after decades of service to national and state pharmacy organizations. She was a member of the ASHP Board of Directors and served as chair of the ASHP Section of Pharmacy Practice Leaders Advisory Group on Multi-Hospital Pharmacy Executives and the Council on Pharmacy Practice. She also served on the Women in Pharmacy Leadership Steering Committee and the AJHP Editorial Board, and she was a delegate to the ASHP House of Delegates for over eight years. She is fellow of ASHP and a past president of the Pennsylvania Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Delaware Valley Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

“I am extremely proud be in this cohort of Indian American leaders in our profession,” said Kasbekar. “As a first-generation American, I watched my parents sacrifice to fight for the things they cared about. Their example gave me a path forward to pursue my dream of being a clinical pharmacist. I hope my experience inspires young practitioners of all backgrounds to fulfill their aspirations as pharmacists and leaders in our profession.”

James and David Mangan

Varkey is director of pharmacy at Houston Methodist Hospital. He received his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Houston and Master of Science in health-system pharmacy administration from The Ohio State University. He completed a two-year health-system pharmacy administration residency at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. He served as national president of the APhA-Academy of Student Pharmacists, elected positions in the APhA Academy of Pharmaceutical Research and Science, Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management, and Board of Trustees before his election as APhA president. He also served ASHP and the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists in appointed positions.

Law is a professor in the department of pharmacy practice and administration and associate dean for assessment in the college of pharmacy at Western University of Health Sciences. Law, who joined WesternU in July 1999, earned her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Mumbai, India, and her Master of Science in pharmaceutics and PhD in pharmaceutical administration from The Ohio State University. She served a three-year term on AACP’s Board of Directors as the chair of the Council of Faculties. Her term as president begins in July 2024.

Posted May 29, 2024

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