URI alumnus awarded pharmacy’s highest honor

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KINGSTON, R.I. — June 6, 2007 — University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy alumnus Ernest Mario was awarded the Remington Honor Medal earlier this year. The award, administered by the American Pharmacists Association is the profession’s highest honor.

Named for eminent community pharmacist, manufacturer and educator Joseph P. Remington, the award was established in 1918 to recognize distinguished service and / or outstanding achievement on behalf of American pharmacy.

A recognized leader in the research-based pharmaceutical industry, Mario began his career in 1966 as a pharmacist and research scientist. He later moved into management, eventually serving as chief executive of Glaxo from 1989 to 1993. Under his stewardship, Glaxo launched five major new medicines and significantly increased its commitment to research. Mario then transformed drug delivery technology company Alza into a full-fledged pharmaceutical company that developed important new treatments and became part of Johnson & Johnson in 2001. Today he is chairman of both Reliant Pharmaceuticals of Liberty Corner, N.J., a developer of cardiovascular medicines, and Pharmaceutical Product Development of Wilmington, N.C., a leading provider of pharmaceutical research and technology services to industry and government worldwide.

Mario’s sustained support of and active participation in major pharmacy, education and health care organizations reflects his personal commitment to the future of pharmacy, pharmaceutical education and the public health. He served as chairman of the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education Board for 15 years. Mario is still giving back to URI as well. In 1996 he donated $1.5 million to the URI College of Pharmacy to establish the Ernest Mario Distinguished Chair in Pharmaceutics.

“No American pharmacist has had such a profound and far reaching influence in the global pharmaceutical industry in at least the last three decades as has Ernest Mario,” wrote one of his nominators. “He has significantly elevated the level of respect for the pharmacy profession within the industry as a highly visible and articulate spokesperson for both the industry and the profession.

Mario received his bachelor of science degree from Rutgers University College of Pharmacy, which in 2001 was renamed the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy in his honor. At URI’s College of Pharmacy he earned his master’s degree and doctorate.