by Grace Oh
On May 10, the 11th grade IB DP Chemistry class visited the pharmaceutical company Anpharm to see how the things they learned in class (organic chemistry) are applied in the real world.
According to a presentation given during the tour, Anpharm is “one of the eleven Manufacturing Sites of the Servier Group, and at the same time one of the first original innovator companies manufacturing drugs in Poland.” The aim of the company is to find a cure for cancer, diabetes, neuropsychiatric diseases, and other illnesses.
Students were told that the company focuses on three things: time, quality, and cost. “We strive for quality, a cost effective and dynamic production by being a flexible reactive team,” said an Anpharm spokeswoman during the tour.
Prior to going to Anpharm, the students generally were excited to learn new things. Some students, like Maja P. (11), were excited to see how drugs were produced, while Emma T. (11) was excited to see future career possibilities. There were even some students, like Jihyeon K. (11), who were interested in the business behind the manufacturing of drugs.
The students looked at two big departments of the pharmaceutical company: the packaging department, and the lab department.
The packaging department was divided into different sections, there was a section where they would create the powder form of the medicine to a tablet, called compression or tabletting, a section where they coated the medicine, a section where they put the tablets inside a bottle, and a section where bottles of medicine would be packaged so it could be sent outside.
The lab department was divided into two parts: the biotechnology lab and the microbiology lab. Mahmood M. (11) thought the lab was “really cool and educational. By seeing how medicine was made, it gave me a new perspective.” Maja P. (11) said, “it was very interesting to see how people work in different environments and the possible things we could do in the future.” The DP Chemistry teacher, Ms. Hansen, stated that the lab was “very impressive. I wish I had a lab like that in my class.”
The students described the whole trip in Anpharm as a new learning experience. Natalia W. (11) said, “The trip overall was interesting because it was interesting to see how a pharmaceutical company works because it may be a possible future career for some of us.”