Industry veteran and pharmacy scholarship advocate Wayne Roberts passes away

WINTER PARK, Fla. Wayne Roberts, an industry veteran with over 30 years in the pharmacy business, passed away Sunday. Most recently Roberts was director of trade and industry relations at Apotex and prior to that had a long career with Bristol-Myers Squibb that began in 1975, ultimately taking him to the position of account director of chain sales and operation.

Roberts was instrumental in the launch and growth of the NACDS Foundation's Pharmacy Partners Scholarship Program. Throughout his career, Roberts worked tirelessly to expand opportunities for students looking for a career in pharmacy, and served in advisory roles with numerous pharmacy schools.

“Wayne’s commitment to promoting community pharmacy and helping pharmacy students is a hallmark of his career. His leadership in developing and nurturing the NACDS Foundation’s Pharmacy Partners Scholarship Program is lasting testimony to his dedication,” said Phil Schneider, president of the NACDS Foundation.

Roberts also played a pivotal role in elevating Apotex’s role in pharmacy education—culminating in a record-setting $1 million donation by the company to the NACDS Foundation in August 2007. In recognition of his continuous efforts to champion education, Roberts himself was awarded the $10,000 Schwarz Pharma Leadership in Pharmacy Award.

“Our customers loved his energy and enthusiasm and found him incredibly easy to work with. I had gotten to know Wayne over the last few months and his love for the industry and his passion for pharmacy education and for his family is what I will always remember,” said Jim Van Lieshout, vice president of sales for Apotex.

A memorial for Roberts will be held Sunday at the Patmos Seventh-day Adventist Church, 821 W. Swoope Avenue, Winter Park, Fla. Donations can be made in his name to the American Cancer Society via his memorial Web page.

Donations can also be made to the NACDS Scholarship Foundation.