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Pharmacy alumna Manjula Jayabalan wins award for grassroots advocacy

Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy recognizes alumna as a thought leader in managed care pharmacy in Michigan.

Janel Shoun-Smith | 615.966.7078  | 

Manjula Jabalyan

This past March, Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy alumna Dr. Manjula Jayabalan (’14), clinical pharmacist account manager at Magellan Rx Management in Detroit, Michigan, was recognized by the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy and the AMCP Foundation as one of the thought leaders who have made significant contributions to the profession of managed care pharmacy.

Jayabalan was the recipient of the 2019 AMCP Grassroots Advocacy Award, which recognizes an individual or group who is responsible for significant activity around a grassroots cause. The award was presented at the AMCP Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy Annual Meeting in San Diego, California.
 
“Recipients of these awards are the pillars of our profession,” says AMCP CEO Susan A. Cantrell. “The awards dinner gives us a chance to honor these individuals for the work they have done to advance the practice of managed care pharmacy and ensure AMCP remains a vibrant and influential organization. Award recipients are role models for their peers and the rising generation of managed care pharmacy professionals.”

Over the past few years, Jayabalan has been a critical member of the Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee of the academy as well as a member of the Michigan Pharmacists Association. She stays abreast of managed care issues in her state of Michigan and brings that expertise to the legislative committee for the benefit of all of AMCP’s membership. Committee members and leaders look to her for insights on where the next development in managed care issues will come from.

Additionally she took on the project of reviving a critical grassroots group within AMCP, the State Advocacy Coordinators program. With her guidance, the SAC program became larger and more coordinated and was better able to advocate in Michigan’s 2019 legislative session.
 
Jayabalan, originally from Detroit, earned a B.S. in biology and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Michigan and later earned her Pharm.D. from Lipscomb. She went on to complete a Lipscomb-sponsored PGY-1 managed care residency at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and she also earned her MBA from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Before moving to Magellan, she worked at BlueCross BlueShield of Michigan as a clinical pharmacist.
 
“Advocacy holds a lot of significance to me,” said Jayabalan. “Pharmacy is highly regulated, so it’s important to have your voice heard.”
 
Jayabalan said the College of Pharmacy’s inclusion of managed care concepts in the curriculum was of great benefit to her in her career, and she considers that an aspect that makes Lipscomb’s program distinctive among pharmacy colleges today.
 
“It was very helpful to be introduced to managed care concepts and opportunities so early in pharmacy school,” she said.
 
While at Lipscomb, she obtained her first managed care experience through an internship at Cigna. In addition to working on her PGY-1 residency and MBA, Jayabalan also worked at Target Pharmacy to obtain community pharmacy experience before moving into managed care.
 
“At the end of the day, community pharmacists are the front lines of pharmacy. They are the bread and butter of pharmacy,” she said. “Most of the things we do (in managed care) impacts retail pharmacists in some way, so it is crucial to have some post-graduate experience as a licensed pharmacist.”