Gainesville student Natasha Wells member of third-place team in LEAP at Lilly Business Competition

Natasha Wells, a third-year pharmacy student at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy’s Gainesville campus, teamed up with pharmacy students at Purdue University to place third in the 3rd Annual LEAP at Lilly Business Competition.

Natasha WellsLEAP, which stands for “leverage, engage and advance pharmacists,” is a collaboration between the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, or SNPhA, and Eli Lilly and Company. The competition allows student pharmacists to apply their clinical knowledge and experience to address real-world pharmaceutical industry business challenges. The challenges outlined in the competition dually addressed Lilly’s mission of improving diversity and inclusion, with SNPhA’s mission of serving the underserved.

Wells connected with one of her Purdue teammates during a virtual office hour hosted by the LEAP at Lilly organizers. They added two more Purdue pharmacy students and began developing their business idea. In the competition, they proposed the following:

  • Implementing a telehealth app service that will advertise and incentive minority patients and those in a lower socioeconomic status to participate in clinical trials
  • Developing an Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience rotation that will utilize the telehealth app as a tool for sharing medical information
  • Establishing a fellowship sponsored by Eli Lilly and NPhA/SNPhA that bridges the pharmaceutical industry to direct diabetes management in ambulatory pharmacy practices

“The experience allowed us to view pharmacy and the social determinants of health from a strategic perspective,” Wells said. “We were able to better understand gaps in access to health care and how we could maximize our impact as future pharmacists.”

This is the second consecutive year that the UF College of Pharmacy was represented in the top 3 of the LEAP at Lilly Business Competition. A team of Gainesville and Orlando students placed third in 2020.