Business Alumni Update

Specialty pharmaceutical company continues to invest in UniSA students through work-placements

Stephan Cross

Stefan Cross

Bachelor of Business (Information Systems), 1993
President, Mayne Pharma USA
Former Head of Marketing (Asia Pacific), Hospira Inc
Stephan Cross

After studying a Bachelor of Business in Information Systems, UniSA alumnus Stefan Cross began his pharmaceutical career at FH Faulding & Co one of South Australia’s largest companies. After more than 20 years in the pharma industry, Stefan has become President of Mayne Pharma Group Limited (Mayne Pharma) in the United States of America.

Mayne Pharma is an ASX listed specialty pharmaceutical company with its headquarters in Adelaide. Mayne Pharma continues to invest in UniSA students studying Pharmaceutical Science by furthering their education and careers through work-placements at the company’s product development and manufacturing facility based in Salisbury, South Australia. The hands-on experience gained through work-placement is a valuable advantage that Stefan believes helped him with his own career.

“I was fortunate to have two six-month industry placements during my degree. One was with SGIC and one with Faulding Pharmaceuticals. This hands-on experience gave me the opportunity to better understand what I wanted to do after graduation,” Stefan says.

“Faulding was very supportive and offered me a position prior to graduation, which began my career in the pharmaceutical industry. Faulding operated a graduate program, which gave me the opportunity to work across a variety of areas of the company. It was this diversity that gave me the core skills to move into a general management role which I now hold.”

The pharmaceutical industry has a strong history of collaborating with researchers to discover new and improved medications that prevent disease, have reduced side effects, or other major health benefits.

Mayne Pharma has a 30-year track record of success in developing new oral drug delivery systems and these technologies have been successfully commercialised in numerous products, including Astrix, which treats cardiovascular disease and Kapanol used in the management of chronic pain.

“One of Mayne Pharma’s strengths is reformulating existing drugs to make them work better for patients. For over 30 years our team at Salisbury have developed a number of new products that are marketed around the world today.”

Stefan believes he has been fortunate to live and work in the UK and USA, which broadened his perspectives and granted him a global understanding of the workplace and pharmaceutical industry. Having the opportunity to work in the US has been invaluable, as this is the world’s largest pharmaceutical market.

“The scale of the US market is so much bigger than Australia which represents just 1% of the global market. However, Australia has some very clever people in the pharma industry who have succeeded in developing and exporting many market leading products. Furthermore, the patient population and funding of the healthcare system makes the US market very attractive for Australian based pharmaceutical companies.

“Working in the US and Australia are very similar. Both countries have a similar work ethic and desire to help patients live a healthier life.”

Despite being reported as an extremely lucrative industry, pharmaceutical companies are not immune to financial pressures.

“The pharmaceutical industry continues to face cost pressures and growing populations mean that governments around the world have to do more with less. Mayne Pharma also plays a role here by providing a range of generic pharmaceuticals that are more cost effective than their brand counterparts.

Stefan’s valuable advice to recent graduates starting out in their careers is to, “take, or create, any opportunity you can get industry experience during your studies. It can open doors for career opportunities, but importantly it helps make the right career direction decisions early.”

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