Samuel L. Lum, Jr. ’94, PharmD, MBA leveraged his doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) from Pacific and master of business administration from University of Phoenix into a career in pharmaceutical management. He worked for Safeway Food and Drugs from 1999 to 2005, first as both department manager and a consultant pharmacist in post-pharmacy acquisitions and later was elevated to a corporate national category manager. In his role, he managed generic pharmaceutical negotiations and purchasing covering over 1,200 Safeway pharmacies in 22 states. He enjoyed working across different states as he was able to examine prescribing habits and learn from the ways different pharmacies ran their operations.
“Health care continues to evolve and has become very fluid, especially with the aging population,” said Dr. Lum. “I learned early in my pharmacy career that management experience would offer plenty of career opportunities, whether it’s in a retail, hospital, teaching, industry or regulatory space. As I look back, I have been in all five practice settings in the past 25 years. The exposure, opportunities and knowledge gained have provided greater insight, skills and ability to formulate strategies and solutions to improve operations or mitigate risks.”
Following his time at Safeway, he was recruited by Kaiser Permanente. He became the director of national pharmaceutical contracting and strategies for the organization. He was responsible for business development and contract negotiations with respect to specialty pharmaceuticals, generic, biosimilars, supply chain, branded medications and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Dr. Lum, along with other team members, managed procurement and drug conversion strategies for Kaiser Permanente nationally.
In November 2018, he began his current position as vice president of commercial sales and marketing for Tanvex Biopharma USA, Inc. “With my role in a biosimilar company, I hope to help provide a solution on improving both affordability and accessibility to vital pharmaceutical biologics for patients,” he said.
“The school helped shape my professional pathway, find my soulmate and provided me early leadership opportunities to build from.”
As a student at Pacific, he was involved in the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists and the Interfraternity Council. He also served two terms as president of the Gamma Nu chapter of the Kappa Psi pharmaceutical fraternity. These leadership opportunities broadened his horizons, allowing him to learn about different career paths within pharmacy. “My time at Pacific led to a wonderful career, experiences and lifestyle; something I never expected or imagined,” he said. “The school helped shape my professional pathway, find my soulmate and provided me early leadership opportunities to build from.”
In 2016, he founded a non-profit organization, Lum AVM Organization, in honor of his late wife, Megan, who passed away from what doctors believe was an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) brain aneurysm. An AVM is a tangle of abnormal blood vessels that diverts blood from the arteries to the veins, bypassing normal brain tissue; posing a substantial risk for bleeding. According to the American Stroke Association, more than 50 percent of patients with an AVM have an intracranial hemorrhage. Lum AVM Organization supports research on early detection of AVM, local non-profit organizations and students through academic or athletic scholarships.
Dr. Lum is a proud father of twins. He shared, “Junior is a freshman at University of Nevada, Reno, majoring in nursing and business. My daughter, Meachelle, attends University of California, Los Angeles for neuroscience with aspirations of medical school.”
By Anne Marie H. Bergthold