Member Spotlight: Maria Rosario Barangan
Name: Maria Rosario Barangan
Title: Vice President
Company Name: E.L. Laboratories, Inc.
What attracted you to pharmaceutical engineering?
My family has been in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry for the last 50 years. My mother, who is also a pharmacist, established her own company in 1968. When I was younger, I would follow my mother around the factory and watch in amazement as the different machines would produce hundreds of tablets and bottles of medicines. I would also spend the long days of summer working with line operators and engineers, getting better acquainted with the industry and its processes. It was only natural for me to pursue Industrial Pharmacy or Pharmaceutical Engineering for my undergraduate studies, and eventually for my graduate studies. Upon graduating, I have been actively involved with our business participating in the conceptual design, and management of construction and start-up of our new manufacturing facility E.L. Laboratories, Inc.
When did you join ISPE, and what are some great memories you have of being involved?
I joined ISPE in 2005 with the Singapore Affiliate, since there was no Philippines Affiliate back then. I would attend the Singapore conferences, but I had always been very excited at the idea of bringing ISPE closer to home. In 2007, with a group of friends from the pharmaceutical industry, we initiated organizing the Philippine Affiliate of ISPE. In 2008, the ISPE Philippine Affiliate was officially established. I was the founding Vice President from 2008 – 2011, and subsequently, the President from 2012 – 2014. We will be celebrating its 10th year anniversary next year.
Throughout the years, we have made ISPE Philippine Affiliate a financially sustainable and viable organization, recognized both by the industry and regulatory as a source of advance knowledge and information on pharmaceutical manufacturing. We have been the prime resource of experts in the field to do lectures and workshops, especially by the regulatory agency. The unbiased and independent sharing of information and knowledge by ISPE members is highly recognized.
What are you working on with ISPE (as a volunteer)? How’s it going?
I am currently a member of the board of the Philippine Affiliate until 2018 and we are busy preparing for our 10th year anniversary, which will coincide with the APAC Regional Conference. As part of the organizing committee, we have already designed the program and we’re excited to welcome participants from the APAC region and from the different affiliates and chapters.
Any other comments about volunteering, ISPE, or the future of the industry?
I believe that the Pharmaceutical Industry will continue to face bigger challenges. On a global scale, as more countries push for Universal Health Care, the demand for good quality medicines at reasonable prices will continue to increase.
Personally, I believe that when we develop medicines and establish standards, they should be for everyone around the world. The medicines we produce should have the same sufficient standards and quality, which should be readily accessible and available globally even for less developed nations. The established standards should be globally harmonized, having in mind that even the less developed countries will have to comply and its effect on the overall cost considered especially on essential medicines. The challenge for us is to balance the benefits of the new trends in science and technology, safety, and efficacy of the medicine against the cost and accessibility. ISPE, being composed of industry and regulatory practitioners and experts from all over the world, is in the best position to truly find this balance and make its advantages be felt equitably by all sectors of the society.
It is my hope to see a future with the pharmaceutical industry producing medicines, with the same sufficient standards, the same sufficient quality, for all and, that it should not cause financial hardship.