Students welcome a visitor from the 'Fortune' Global Top 50

Pharmacy - Boots Science Building
03 Nov 2010 15:00:00.000


One of the world’s top businesswomen is visiting The University of Nottingham to talk to students about the changing face of international commerce.

Ornella Barra, recently named in Fortune magazine’s Top 50 most powerful women in global business, will be on campus on November 4 to give a lecture to pharmacy students.

Described by Fortune as ‘a driving force in Europe's healthcare industry’, Ms Barra became chief executive of Alliance Boots' largest division last year — responsible for businesses in more than 20 countries. She helped boost sales at her new division, wholesale pharmaceuticals, up 10.3 per cent to $19.8 billion in 2009; profits rose 17.2 per cent to $402 million.

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Ms Barra, who has expertise and business success in pharmacy spanning more than 30 years, was appointed as a Special Professor in the University’s School of Pharmacy in 2008.

In this role she gives an annual lecture to students, advises the school on international trade and pharmacy-related commerce, and on global trends in retail and wholesale pharmacy. She is also a member of the External Advisory Board of the School of Pharmacy at The University of Nottingham’s Malaysia Campus.

The title of her lecture on November 4 is: ‘What’s going on? Alliance Boots and the evolving role of pharmacy’.

Ms Barra's career in the pharmacy industry began in 1979 when, following her graduation from Genoa University, she became the manager and owner of her own pharmacy.

Five years later she founded a pharmaceutical distribution company near Genoa, which was later acquired by Alleanza Salute Italia in 1986, and she has since held a number of executive positions among companies including Alleanza Salute Italia, Alliance UniChem, which merged with Boots Group in July 2006 to form Alliance Boots.

Nottingham’s School of Pharmacy has had a special relationship with Boots for many years, and works closely on collaborative ventures in the areas of pharmacist training and research.

Professor Kevin Shakesheff, Head of the School of Pharmacy, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Ornella Barra to the School once again. She has helped at all levels, particularly on our pharmacy course. She teaches undergraduate students, giving them exposure to a fantastic success story. She is very good with the students.

“At a strategic level, Ornella Barra helps us with our international plans, particularly our plans for Malaysia and Ningbo in China. She has helped us set up our pharmacy degree at our campus in Kuala Lumpur and goes over every year to advise on the future. Boots has a presence in Asia and she is well aware what the future demand for students will be.”

The University of Nottingham’s School of Pharmacy is one of the highest-rated in British higher education, and is regularly ranked number one for pharmacy in national university league tables.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Times as “the nearest Britain has to a truly global university”, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 39,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

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Story credits

More information is available from Professor Kevin Shakesheff, Head of the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 9515104,
Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

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