Rhudy, Marily

Harper Rhudy
Year Inducted: 
Marily Harper Rhudy
  • First woman President of the Kansas Pharmacist Association
  • First woman Chair of the American Pharmaceutical Association
  • First woman Senior Vice President for Global Corporate Affairs at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

Marily Rhudy has been a powerful and influential voice in the pharmaceutical industry for over forty years. And she accomplished all this while being a devoted mother to seven children.

Rhudy graduated from the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy in 1972. After graduation, she co-owned and operated three Topeka pharmacies for over twenty years. Rhudy quickly emerged as a prominent leader in the profession both in Kansas and the nation. She was the first woman president of the Kansas Pharmacist Association, the first woman chair of the American Pharmaceutical Association and, according to her nominator Gene Hotchkiss, has long been considered by many to be “the most influential woman in the pharmaceutical industry in the United States.”

In 1993, Rhudy was appointed as a Special White House Employee by President Clinton to serve as the pharmacist representative on the White House Health Professions Review Group, a part of the Clinton Health Care Reform. That same year she joined Wyeth Pharmaceuticals as Director of Pharmacy Relations. Rhudy was soon named the first woman Senior Vice President for Global Corporate Affairs at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals where she went on to develop a world class team that transformed the way the industry viewed global affairs.

Rhudy left Wyeth in 2008 and launched her own consulting practice. Through her practice she has worked with four companies to establish or improve their public policy functions. Rhudy remains a highly respected and sought-after consultant for her insights into shaping public policy and improving health outcomes for patients.

Del Shankel wrote that Rhudy rose to the top of a male dominated field not because she aimed to be a pioneer, “but because she believed that the best way to break down artificial barriers is for individuals to demonstrate with their talents that it is possible for anyone, regardless of gender, to succeed.” Marily Rhudy has most certainly shown all of us what it means to lead and be a positive role model for young women everywhere. 

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