Jere Edwin Goyan passed away peacefully at his home in Kingwood, Texas, on January 17, 2007.
Goyan was born on August 3, 1930 in Oakland, California. He and his younger brother, Michael, were raised in Eureka, California. At age 12, he got a job as an errand boy for Buxton’s Drugstore. This encouraged his decision to pursue a career in pharmacology. In 1952, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy at the University of California-San Francisco. In 1957, he earned his doctorate degree at the University of California-Berkley in pharmaceutical chemistry. From 1963 to 1979 he was a faculty member at the University of California-San Francisco School of Pharmacy, where he also served as dean from 1967 to 1992. His main area of research and expertise was in pharmacokinetics. After retiring from the University of California he continued his career as Chief Operating Officer and President for Alteon Incorporated from 1993 to 1998. He then served on the board of directors for several drug development companies.
Jere was the first pharmacist to serve as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. He is remembered for his active leadership in the field of pharmacy. As a result of his contributions, significant improvements were made in drug therapy for patients undergoing treatment. Highlights during his term with the FDA including the rising link between toxic shock syndrome and the Rely tampon. The agency’s response to this was to mandate package inserts with warnings to patients. He also organized the development of a clinical pharmacy program in which pharmacists are trained to serve as therapeutic professionals, thus expanding the traditional role of pharmacists to drug therapy specialists. This revolution in pharmacy practice improved patient care and safety.
Among many other honors, Goyan was honored as the first pharmacist elected to the Institute of Medicine in 1992, and received the prestigious Remington Medal from the American Pharmaceutical Association, the nation’s utmost award in pharmacy. He also received numerous honorary degrees and lectureships from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, and various other institutions.
“He was the single most persuasive influence on the pharmacy profession,” said Robert Day, Associate Dean of Pharmacy at the University of California-San Francisco. “His conviction that clinical experience should be part of a pharmacist’s training and practice, while revolutionary when he proposed it, is now accepted internationally. There are thousands and thousands of pharmacists across the nation who owe a debt of gratitude to this man for his influence on their practices.”
The last years of his life were complicated by Alzheimer’s Disease. To those who knew him, he was loved for his good sense of humor and his warmth. He was a man of strong beliefs who never hesitated to speak his mind.