Dr. Robert Cipolle earned his Pharm.D. from the University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy in 1976. He was an instructor in the College from 1976 and then became a professor in 1978. He served in several administrative positions within the College, including vice chairman of the Department of Pharmacy, associate dean for Academic Affairs, and dean. He co-founded the Peters Institute of Pharmaceutical Care in 1995 and Medication Management Systems, Inc., a University of Minnesota start-up in 2006. He retired in 2011.
Dr. Robert Cipolle begins his interview by briefly discusses his early life and education. He describes his time in the relatively new Pharm.D. at the University of Minnesota, his residency in Twin Cities area hospitals, and how the atmosphere of acceptance of the clinical pharmacy in Minnesota differed from areas. Dr. Cipolle then discusses the following topics regarding the changing culture surrounding pharmacy and pharmaceuticals: his move to University Hospital to support the growth of the clinical pharmacy program there; running the hospital pharmacy at Saint Paul-Ramsey; conflicts within the pharmacy therapeutics committee; equivalence, substitution, and prescriptive power issues in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s; the creation of the Peters Institute of Pharmaceutical Care; the practice of medication therapy management (MTM); the development of a billing system for clinical pharmacy; the training of clinical pharmacists as opposed to pharmacists working in dispensaries; and the introduction of the patient package insert. Following this discussion of larger trends, Dr. Cipolle reflects on his time in administration in the College of Pharmacy, including his time as associate dean under Gilbert Banker, changing the curriculum within the College, and his time as interim dean. He then describes the following: the relationship between the College and the Department of Pharmacology in the Medical School; the conversion to an all Pharm.D. program; the creation of the pharmacy program in Duluth; relations between the College and the basic sciences; failed discussions regarding the creation of a two-year pharmacy technician program; poison control and collaborations with the Medical and Nursing Schools; budget issues and long-range planning; funding from pharmaceutical companies; his time chairing the Conflict of Interest Committee; litigation surrounding the sale of Antilymphocyte Globulin (ALG); the creation of Medication Management Systems, Inc. Dr. Cipolle concludes with a reflection on changing demographics within pharmacy, the changing culture of pharmacy, and the naming of Unit F.
Robert Cipolle earned his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the College of Pharmacy at the University of Illinois Medical Center in 1974. While completing his degree, he apprenticed at Rush Presbyterian Saint Luke Medical Center in Chicago. He then earned his Pharm.D. from the University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy in 1976. He was an instructor in the College from 1976 to 1978. He became a professor in the College in 1978, while also serving as associate director of Pharmaceutical Services at St. Paul-Ramsey, a position he held until 1984. He became vice chairman of the Department of Pharmacy in the College in 1984 and then associate head of the Department in 1987. From 1988 to 1992, he served as associate dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Pharmacy. He then served as dean of the College from 1992 to 1994. He co-founded the Peters Institute of Pharmaceutical Care in 1995 and served as director for over a decade. In 2006, he co-founded Medication Management Systems, Inc., a University of Minnesota start-up. He retired in 2011.