David Rhys Axon, PhD, MPharm, MS, MRPharmS, wanted to become a pharmacist at an early age. “My dad is a pharmacist, so pharmacy is in my blood,” said Dr. Axon, who spent summer holidays as a child helping his father in the pharmacy. “I observed the work that he did, and it seemed interesting to me. I always knew I wanted to do something that involved health care and science, so pharmacy was the perfect fit for me.”
Dr. Axon earned a Master of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Reading and practiced community pharmacy in the United Kingdom. But he wanted to do more for patients and become a leader in the pharmacy field, so he sought a doctoral degree in pharmaceutical economics, policy and outcomes. His search led him to North America, where he applied to several schools with top pharmacy administration programs.
“Having trained as a pharmacist in Britain, I was also looking for a change in climate and to gain an international perspective for the next stage of my career,” he said.
The research faculty at the University of Arizona and future opportunities to grow as a pharmacy leader in Arizona were important factors in his decision to move to Tucson. He earned a master’s degree in 2017 and doctoral degree in 2019.
Today, he is an assistant research professor in the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy, serves as an investigator for the Center for Health Outcomes and PharmacoEconomic Research and is co-director of the Outcomes Research Group. The group collaborates with the state health department, pharmaceutical companies, medication therapy management providers and organizations such as the Pharmacy Quality Alliance and National Council for Prescription Drug Programs to improve medication safety and health outcomes for patients.
Dr. Axon said he also has interests in the scholarship of pharmacy teaching and demonstrating the value of the pharmacy profession through his research.
“I believe all pharmacists have a responsibility to mentor the next generation of pharmacists, and I do that through my role as a faculty member at the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy,” he said. “For me, it is particularly special to be the co-director of the PhD program that I graduated from several years ago.”