Gerald Finken ’90: Pharmacist at Heart, Innovator at his Core

Pharmacy is his passion. Innovation is his mission. Gerald E. Finken, who graduated magna cum laude from Kean in 1990 with an M.S. in Management Systems Analysis, has had a passion for pharmacy and the impact it can have since his days as a college student in New Jersey.

“This passion and drive has motivated me to bring the practice of pharmacy into the clinical research sector,” said Finken who has more than 35 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

“I have always challenged traditional clinical trial models and through new processes, innovative study designs and patient counseling services, I have been able to revolutionize the way patients receive and take their medications in clinical trials.”

To Finken, it’s all about the patient.

He founded Clinical Supplies Management (CSM) in 1997, a company for which he served as CEO until last year when he transitioned into his current role as chief scientific officer. CSM is dedicated to providing drug packaging, labeling and logistics solutions for clinical trials to the global life science, pharmaceutical and biotech industries.

Finken focuses on innovation, business strategies and growth opportunities, including the further development of Direct-to-Patient and On-Demand services.

“With the mission of making a difference in the clinical supplies sector, I grew the company from a one-person consulting operation, to a multi-million-dollar organization with multiple locations and 100+ employees,” said Finken who added that in 2001, he created and launched the On-Demand packaging and labeling platform.

“This was an industry breakthrough enabling a flexible clinical supply chain to keep pace with breakthrough therapies, diagnostics and technology by delivering patient-centric medication.”

While working with sponsor companies and seeing first-hand the struggle of getting FDA approval, he launched CTRP® (Clinical Trials Research Pharmacist) services as a division of CSM. By piloting this services through CSM, Finken and his team were able to prove that pharmacists counseling patients in clinical trials can improve compliance, adherence, retention, and more importantly, the overall quality of the studies. In 2014 he rebranded and relaunched the CTRP® service through Center Point Clinical Services, LLC.

Both Center Point and CSM are redefining the way the industry conducts clinical trials with the overall strategy of finding innovative solutions to help companies decrease timelines, improve study outcomes and reduce costs while improving the strategic quality in all aspects of patient-centric medication and care.

In an effort to grow and expand globally, Finken in February 2016 announced its partnership with IMP-Clinical Supply Services Ltd., which unified their clinical trial supply services for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide. This strategic alliance now allows clinical trial sponsors to streamline the complexities of international supply chain management. IMP is an Israeli-based company that was established in order to address the industry's arising needs and evolving regulatory environment by providing controlled and monitored packaging and storage areas for reliable packaging of investigational medicinal products and clinical trial related supplies.  

Finken’s hard work and commitment to the field has not gone unnoticed, having received the Clinical Informatics Best Practice Award in the category of "Study Startup and Design" in 2014.

Finken, a licensed pharmacist in seven states, is also the 2007 recipient of the Elan Innovative Pharmacy Practice Award.

Prior to founding CSM, Finken worked as an independent clinical supplies consultant and has held management positions with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (1985-1993) and at the PRACS Institute, Ltd.

But at his core, Finken believes that learning should never end, whether it be in the classroom, laboratory or other location. "I believe we exist to learn, which means education is the single most important undertaking of our lives.  This makes it our social responsibility to support our academic institutions," said Finken.

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