Lou Kennedy
Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation

“We make things. I derive great satisfaction in producing billions of life saving medications, with quality and low pricing.  You could say it is in my DNA, since my Father produced plastic and fiber for Eastman Chemical Company for 44 years. Manufacturers are able to innovate, create and bolster our economy.”

Beginning her career at Nephron in 2001 with no science background, Lou quickly learned the technical aspects of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation through hard work and an ambitious, positive attitude. During her first year, Nephron built a sales force that grew the company by 300 percent. By 2007, Lou was Nephron’s CEO.

Nephron’s state-of-the-art facility in West Columbia, SC specializes in blow-fill-seal (BFS) manufacturing, a technology that allows a vial of medication to be formed, filled and sealed in a mechanized process within sterile conditions. Many of the machines at the plant sport serial numbers below 10 because Lou has challenged Nephron’s equipment manufacturers to build truly innovative equipment, performing tasks previously thought to be unachievable. Today, Nephron is working on a safer, cleaner, more efficient form of injectable drug, which will enable to the company to solve drug shortage issues, lower prices and eliminate the risk of human contamination and error.

As a woman-owned business, Nephron has many females in high-ranking positions. Lou is proud to personally help young women learn and grow with the company. She has an open-door policy and takes time out of her busy schedule to meet with anyone who seeks business or personal advice.  

Lou is actively involved in initiatives to benefit her community and state. Together with her husband Bill, she helped establish the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center in conjunction with the USC School of Pharmacy. Additionally, the couple funded the Kennedy Greenhouse Studio at the USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications and the William Jerry Wood Life Skills Center at Midlands Technical College. Through Nephron, Lou also supports programs such as Adopt-a-Highway, the Snack Pack Program and the Oliver Gospel Mission.

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