Certificate in Pharma Challenges & Opportunities


The Pharma Challenges and Opportunities Certificate offers a dynamic exploration of the ever-evolving pharmaceutical industry, driven by scientific progress, regulatory shifts, market forces, and changing healthcare needs. Through four interactive modules led by industry experts and U of T faculty, this program offers insights identified as crucial by pharma CEOs.

Participants gain a deep understanding of the lifecycle of medicines, covering discovery, regulatory approval, medical affairs, market access, and the activities involved in launching, marketing, and selling. The program also highlights broader aspects of Canadian life sciences, generics, vaccines, and future opportunities and challenges. Given success relies on industry knowledge coupled with essential soft skills, this program integrates sessions in communication, negotiation, cross-functional collaboration and teamwork.

Key Highlights

  • Industry-Relevant Curriculum
  • Emphasis on Emerging Trends
  • Expert-Led Modules
  • Complete Drug Lifecycle Understanding
  • Interactive Learning Approach
  • Soft Skills Component 


Module 1 •  An Introduction to Pharma and Key Steps in Drug Discovery and Development

  • Industry Overview
  • Drug Discovery and Development 
  • Medical Affairs
  • Communication Excellence 

Module 2 •  Getting Medicines Approved and Reimbursed

  • Regulatory Affairs 
  • Market Access 
  • Drug Review and Reimbursement 
  • Negotiation and Stakeholder Management  

Module 3 • Launching, Marketing and Selling Excellence

  • Launch Excellence
  • Marketing and Selling Best Practice 
  • Collaboration and Teamwork

Module 4 • The Broader Context

  • Vaccines 
  • Generics 
  • Biologics
  • Life Sciences in Canada


Ensure you have read the Who Should Attend section before registering.

Format and Dates

  • Fully online
  • 1 day / month
  • 4 month program
  • 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
  • Sessions on Thursdays

 (Toronto time, EST)

Module 1 •  September 26, 2024

Module 2 •  October 24, 2024

Module 3 • November 21, 2024

Module 4 •  December 19, 2024

Certificate Fee

Individual registrations - $2,000 + HST / participant. 

Group registrations of 2 or more - $1,650 + HST / participant.

The fee includes all four modules and course materials.

Contact Us for an early bird discount code (this is $500 off the program fee! Valid until June 30, 2024)!

Who Should Attend

  • Professionals already in pharma and interested in broadening industry knowledge to improve their cross-functional contribution
  • International pharma professionals new to Canada  
  • Recent graduates interested in entering the pharma industry

Program Instructors Include:

  • Rav Kumar - Chief Strategy Officer, Dalriada Drug Discovery, Visiting Professor, U of T, Mississauga 
  • Vince Lamanna -Senior Vice President,  President Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. 
  • Amyn Sayani - Director, Medical Evidence, AstraZeneca Canada
  • Shurjeel Choudhri - Senior Vice President and Head, Medical and Scientific Affairs, Bayer HealthCare
  • Rafael Chiuzi - Assistant Professor, Organizational Behaviour & HR Management, Department of Management, U of T, Mississauga
  • Leslie Madden - Head of Regulatory Affairs, Canada, Moderna
  • Christine MossaVice President, Global Value & Access, Neuroscience, Ipsen Canada


  • Ajay Bhatia - Global Director of Marketing, Oncology Astellas Pharma 
  • Dorothy Czylyski - President- NFA Health
  • Rohita Sharma - Senior Director, Global Patient Insights and Solutions, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Bruce Seet - Head of Medical Affairs (Canada) at Novavax
  • Leigh Revers - Associate Professor Chemistry, Director Master of Biotechnology Program, U of T, Mississauga
  • Duncan Jones - Adjunct Professor, U of T, Mississauga
  • Maura Campbell - President and CEO, Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization

Past Participant Spotlight

 This program helped me gain a better understanding of the high-level gaps and future direction of the pharmaceutical industry, especially within the medical affairs realm. I engaged with senior executives in pharma and U of T faculty members who shared practical experiences. I am pleased with the networking platform this program presented and I hope these relationships will be sustained.

Stanley C. Meribe
Senior Medical Writer
INVIVO - a Red Nucleus Company

This program provided me with a comprehensive overview of the entire Canadian pharma industry including regulations and best practices from drug discovery to commercialization with real-world case study discussions. My cohort was made up of professionals from various backgrounds, establishing a collaborative platform to share insights and experiences. This program has prepared me for my Canadian pharma career transition and has opened up doors for new opportunities.

Yang Liu, MBA
Business Development & Licensing
Lingmed Limited

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