Passion, in unlikely places

Passion, in unlikely places

Laura Bush

When you think of a government agency, or an organization whose mission is to set standards, the first word that comes to mind probably isn’t “excitement.” Yet I had a lot of fun writing this month’s special report about the US Pharmacopeia, and the article in our July issue about FDA.

What made it fascinating was the people. That’s one of the best aspects of my job: I get to talk to people who love what they do.

Take, for example, Roger Williams, CEO of the USP and a source for this month’s cover story. Even over the phone, he conveys energy and enthusiasm. He fires out clear, concise answers, and is ready for your next question before you can finish absorbing everything he just said about the last one. I’m kind of glad I don’t have to try to keep up with him every day, because I’m not sure I could.

One lucky Friday after that, I interviewed Judy Boehlert and Loyd Allen. Both have been members of the USP Council of Experts and leading Expert Committees for 15 years. You might think that by now they would be tired of spending 10 hours a week of their free time wading through an endless stream of detailed documents and lengthy meetings. On the contrary, both are eagerly seeking another five-year term, and would encourage others to join them and the 750 other USP volunteers.

Why do they all do it? Because of their sense of mission. They know that improving drug standards improves people’s health–not just in Oklahoma or Vermont, but worldwide–and they want to be involved. And they’re having fun in the process.

I found that same passion in the folks I interviewed at FDA. Interview after interview, the time ran out long before I ran out of questions.

The hardest part about these interviews was realizing I couldn’t possibly include all this great material in the articles. I have an inkling, though, that there is a lot more passion like this out there in the industry, waiting to be written about. And that’s the best part.

Laura Bush, Managing Editor

COPYRIGHT 2004 Advanstar Communications, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group