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Meet the Team: Yen Nguyen

Updated: Apr 7

Yen Nguyen, PharmD, a valued member of our advisory board, holds a pharmacy degree from the University of the Pacific and serves as a Med Info pharmacist in the pharmaceutical industry. With board certification in Geriatric Pharmacy, Dr. Nguyen excels in both community retail practice and specialized care. Her latest paper, "Embracing Medication Needs of Patients based on Ethical, Dietary, and Religious Preferences," illuminates the nuanced requirements of patients seeking medications free from animal-derived ingredients.

Why did you join the VeganMed team?

I was introduced to Sachin, our CEO, through a mutual colleague a few years ago, and I remember being very intrigued by his story of why he started the company. With a retail pharmacy background, I have seen a fair share of my patients struggle with their medications and understanding the ingredients. Transparency in medication has always been and continues to be a major problem that most people aren’t aware of. Even as pharmacists, we often don’t know what’s in these medications. Most of my career has revolved around providing better care and education to various underserved communities, so when I heard that VeganMed’s goal is to bring transparency around medications and health products, I wanted to be a part of it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re avoiding animal-derived ingredients for religious, dietary, allergy, or personal reasons, I believe every person should have a choice in deciding what they take, and I want to be a part of a team that is continuously striving to find a solution. 

What are you currently working on at VeganMed?

As a pharmacist deeply rooted in my community, there's nothing I'm more passionate about than serving its needs. Over a decade of working in retail pharmacy, I've witnessed countless struggles, listened to endless stories, and formed genuine connections with patients on a personal level. In our neighborhoods, community pharmacists stand as friendly faces and trusted advisors, offering not just prescriptions but also a listening ear and expert advice.

It's often in these everyday interactions that we, as community pharmacists, find ourselves playing a crucial role in our patients' healthcare decisions. That's why one of my primary goals is to ensure that everyone in our community has access to animal-free medications. With the VeganMed team, I'm working to advocate for clearer labeling and making animal-free medications more accessible at retail pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS.

But it's not just about stocking shelves; it's about fostering understanding. I hope to raise awareness among my fellow community pharmacists about the importance of animal-free ingredients, empowering them to better assist patients seeking medications free from animal-derived components. Together, we can ensure that everyone in our community gets the care they deserve, tailored to their needs and values.

What is your favorite animal-free product?

I don’t have one favorite animal-free product, but I love all the animal-free feminine products from Rael! As a female, it is difficult to find a line of personal care products that we can trust to be animal-free, and I love how Rael offers so many options. The best thing is that they’re certified animal-free, so I don’t have to question the ingredients or materials used to manufacture their products. 

What was the most shocking thing you discovered about the pharmaceutical industry when you started working here?

I was very surprised to learn that many healthcare providers do not know what ingredients are considered animal-derived. I am embarrassed to admit that I was a pharmacist, who is supposedly known as “a drug expert”, but also did not know the list of common animal-derived ingredients until I joined the VeganMed team. Drug companies usually have a Medical Information department that is staffed with healthcare professionals to answer patient inquiries regarding their medications, however, a recent survey showed only 60% of the companies were able to provide an accurate response to questions about animal-derived ingredients.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love to travel when I’m not working. My favorite thing about traveling is having the opportunity to explore new cultures and learn what makes each country unique. I love how traveling broadens my perspectives and teaches me a new sense of appreciation for life. 


Disclaimer: The product and/or information provided on VeganMed is of a general nature and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We do not lab test the products to confirm that they are free from animal ingredients, and it is possible that the formulation and ingredients could have changed. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or product. The information provided in this post is accurate and up to date as of the date it was written. However, please note that circumstances and facts may change over time, and new information may become available that could alter the accuracy or relevance of the content. We encourage readers to verify and cross-reference any information provided here with trusted sources or consult relevant professionals for the most current and accurate updates.


Looking for certified and verified animal-free products?

Thank you for your awareness and concern for animal-derived ingredients!

As a reminder, please comment on our FDA Citizen Petition, requesting clear labeling of animal-derived ingredients in medications. Together, we can make a difference.

If you have any further questions about ingredients in your medicines and supplements, feel free to reach out to the VeganMed team!

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