Pfizer veteran pays it forward through AAPS mentorship 

[Image courtesy of Adobe Stock]

When Cindy Oksanen started out at Pfizer’s Groton, Connecticut research headquarters in 1992, she entered an environment where female Ph.D.s in leadership positions were rare. Starting out as a lab scientist, she developed formulations for new drugs including oral dosage forms like tablets and capsules. “We would develop the dosage forms and then transfer the manufacturing technology to sites around the world,” she recalled. At the time, there were roughly 10 men to every female Ph.D., Oksanen recalled. “It’s changed now, but back then, there weren’t many female role models in leadership roles,” she added.

Oksanen quickly assumed supervisory and leadership roles in analytical and manufacturing departments. Over time, she led development of more than 20 drugs from scratch through to regulatory approval. “I learned a lot about how to develop a drug product,&#…

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