Vietnam / Cambodia / Laos – A new generation of pharmacists trained in Southeast Asia


On 8 November, the 14 students of the Master Mekong Pharma Class of 2015-2017 received their degrees. They form the fourth graduating class of this French Master’s 2 transferred to Southeast Asia. The graduation ceremony was held at the University of Health Sciences in Laos and was attended by Professor Pouthone, Vangkonevilay, Rector, Mr Jacques Fabre, Secretary of the Fondation Pierre Fabre, Ms Claudine Ledoux, Ambassador of France to Laos and representatives of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie.

Vietnam/Cambodge/Laos – Une nouvelle génération de pharmaciens formée en Asie du Sud-Est

Since 2012, the Master Mekong Pharma, a Fondation Pierre Fabre educational initiative, has trained 72 pharmacists from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam with the objective of increasing the number of drug specialists in Southeast Asia.

The Master Mekong Pharma is designed primarily for young pharmacy and medical graduates from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, giving them the opportunity to earn a French Master’s 2 degree from French partner universities: Aix-Marseille, Paris Descartes, Toulouse III Paul Sabatier, and Angers. This curriculum is made possible through the involvement of the Asian universities that have joined forces with the programme: the Universities of Health Sciences of Laos and Cambodia, the Hanoi University of Pharmacy and the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Ho Chi Minh City.

Created in 2012, the Master Mekong Pharma has helped develop a solid network of drug professionals who can have a positive impact on the hospital care sector, contribute to the efforts of public structures such as drug agencies, but also support the private sector, which is in great need of such expertise in Southeast Asia.

For Foundation Secretary Jacques Fabre: “The success of drug supply programmes and the proper use of these medicines depend on the competence of local health personnel. This is why the Fondation Pierre Fabre has made it a priority to train drug professionals who can help make the medicine supply chain and use of medicines more secure in their home countries. The Fondation Pierre Fabre is also committed to identifying and nurturing top talent. They continue to strengthen the academic curriculum and help expand research to address the Global South’s healthcare priorities.

For Claudine Ledoux, Ambassador of France to Laos: “For more than a decade, the Fondation Pierre Fabre has been developing training tools for new generations of pharmacists, caregivers and midwives. Your commitment is exemplary. It nurtures long-lasting partnerships based on trust. I would also like to recognise the long and fruitful cooperation between France and Laos in the health sector, as evidenced by the campus surrounding our embassy and the French language that continues to provide a bridge between healthcare professionals. To speak and understand French is to increase one’s chances of receiving scholarships, grants, top-quality training and exciting, fulfilling employment opportunities.

The high success rates of this fourth graduating class confirm that the strategy used by the French universities awarding the degree is effective: 87.5% of the students earned degrees in one of the three specialties. Seven were in Clinical Pharmacology (from Paul Sabatier Toulouse III University via the University of Health Sciences of Laos); one in Pharmacokinetics (from Paris Descartes University via Aix Marseille University) and six in Pharmaceutical Quality Control (Hanoi University of Pharmacy).

Career opportunities for the students are also promising, as six recent graduates have already found positions in the pharmaceutical, public, academic and research sectors. The employment rate of previous graduating classes is excellent, with 97% of students finding jobs in the health and drug sectors. Lastly, the training programme continues to evolve to meet student needs, such as with the Fall 2016 opening of the “Pharmaceutical and Nanomedicinal Technologies” specialty at the University of Angers, transferred to the University of Pharmacy and Medicine of Ho Chi Minh City.

For more information on the Master Mekong Pharma, click here.

Key figures for the Master Mekong Pharma

  • 4 graduating classes of drug professionals
  • 72 graduates:
    • 29 earned a degree in Clinical Pharmacology
    • 11 earned a degree in Pharmacokinetics
    • 32 earned a degree in Drug Quality
  • 38 students undergoing training in 2017-2018
  • Distribution of graduates by business sector
    • Pharmaceutical industries: 37%
    • Universities, research: 33%
    • EHealthcare establishments, public service: 30%
  • 8 partnering universities
  • 190 teaching assignments, totalling 6,650 hours of instruction

The fourth graduating class of the Master Mekong Pharma