The Pharmaceutical industry employs a range of scientists who play a vital role in the discovery, development, and production of medicines, from Pharmacologists, Biochemists, and Engineers to Toxicologists, Clinical Research Analysts, and Chemists.
Generally, the Pharmaceutical industry is all about conducting research, carrying out experiments and chemically developing tablets, treatments, ointments, creams and other pharmaceutical products within laboratories. Pharmaceutical companies may deal in generic or brand medications and medical devices. They are subject to a variety of laws and regulations that govern the patenting, testing, safety, efficacy, and marketing of drugs.
Pharmaceutical companies work to prevent the spread of disease, ease pain, cure illnesses, and slow down the effects of aging, among many other things. Their mission to discover the next ground-breaking medicine revolves around very big results (and possible consequences): big revenue, big competition, and, at times, big controversy.
Professionals in the Pharmaceutical industry are usually responsible for the following:
- Performing different experiments and testing different samples and specimens.
- Developing or assisting in the development of new medicines or drugs.
- Ensuring safety and quality standards are always met.
- Writing technical reports that detail methods and findings and, in some cases, publishing these investigations.
All professionals working in the Pharmaceutical field usually share the same characteristics, which include, but are not limited to:
- Having outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.
- Having excellent leadership abilities.
- Being able to work cohesively with a multidisciplinary team of scientists.
- Being organized, analytical, and detail-oriented.
- Being great at multitasking and establishing priorities; being able to manage time efficiently.
Pharmaceuticals is one of the world’s most profitable industries and its growth hasn’t slowed down with time. Nevertheless, not everything is as easy as it sounds. The process that turns research dollars into medicines is a slow and often arduous one. It can take an average of 12 to 15 years and billions of dollars for a drug to go from discovery to the market. Furthermore, despite all the effort, time, and money put into creating these medicines, only a handful get approval from the corresponding drug administration agency each year.
Pursuing a career in the Pharmaceutical area could mean working in all kinds of environments; from laboratories and hospitals to academic institutions and pharmacies. However, it’s not easy to get into this line of work. Most careers in the area require a bachelor’s degree in Sciences, a master’s degree and, on top of everything else, a Ph.D. A doctoral degree can improve the candidate’s chances to get ahead in their professional careers and become a recognized scientist in their field. Moreover, internship experience, general laboratory experience, and proven communications and leadership skills will definitely improve a candidate’s chances to get a position in the Pharmaceutical industry.