what do pharmaceutical companies do?

The pharmaceutical industry is a vast sector that deals with the research, development and distribution of drugs and medication. If you want to work in a pharmaceutical company, gaining an insight into what pharmaceutical companies actually do can help you confirm whether or not it's the right career path for you. Today, we're going to take a look behind the closed laboratory doors to see what really goes on in pharmaceutical companies.

The main goals of a pharmaceutical company

Working to produce life-saving drugs and medical treatments for patients is the number one priority for pharmaceutical companies. In order to do this, they spend a lot of time developing new technologies, building infrastructures and carrying out tests to make sure that the medications they're providing are effective and safe. Without pharmaceutical companies, we wouldn't have treatments for common diseases and cancers.

Pharmaceutical regulatory bodies:

When it comes to sharing a new drug with sick patients, there are several regulations that pharmaceutical companies have to adhere to. These regulations help keep me, you and sick patients all over the world safe. International regulatory boards monitor things like:

  • The price that drugs are being sold at
  • The quality of the drug & manufacturing process
  • The safety of the drug and the possible side effects
  • The testing that's being done to prove that the drug is safe

A few of the pharmaceutical regulatory bodies that you may have come across before include, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). 

How do pharmaceutical companies work?

The pharmaceutical industry has been growing and changing ever since the 19th Century. As you can imagine, the way in which they work has come a long way since then! In the past, new drugs and treatments would be discovered by analysing holistic/traditional remedies, or through sheer chance. Some of the most common drugs we rely on today were discovered by accident, for example:

  • The birth control pill
  • Viagra
  • Penicillin

Nowadays, pharmaceutical companies work in a much more structured and methodical way. First, research is carried out to find out what is causing a certain disease, infection or illness to develop. Then, researchers try to find ways to target the illnesses on a molecular level. Various data management and research programs are used to help speed up the process further.

When a new infection or virus appears on the scene (like COVID-19), pharmaceutical companies all over the world work towards a common goal - finding a successful vaccine to help save lives. 

Should I work in a pharmaceutical company?

Working in a pharmaceutical company is sure to be interesting and varied, after all, it's an industry that never stands still! People from all backgrounds can pursue careers in pharmaceutical companies, you just need lots of motivation and scientific competence to get you going. 

We already know that pharmaceutical companies employ around 70,000 people here in the UK, and with relatively high salary expectations, you can see why it's such a popular choice. You can learn more about why you should work in the pharmaceutical industry in our previous blog.

What do people in different pharmaceutical jobs do?

If you've got the skills and knowledge behind you to pursue a career in pharmaceuticals, then you might be wondering which job role to go for. As with any industry, there are no 'best' or 'worst' roles, you simply need to look at the pros and cons of each job and decide whether it's a good fit for you.

That being said, there are certain attributes that lend themself better to some pharmaceutical roles more than others.

Technical Jobs

Some of the more technical jobs require you to be confident in medicine handling, proficient in the use of specialist equipment and to have a high level of organisation. These roles might include:

  • Senior quality specialist
  • Research and Development technician
  • RNA extraction scientist
  • Sample preparation scientist

Managerial Jobs

If working in a lab isn't your strong point, but you still want to work in a pharmaceutical company, then you might be inclined towards a more managerial/admin role. Here are a few job titles that you can expect to see:

  • Pharmaceutical marketing executive
  • Product/project managers
  • HR personnel 
  • Supply chain operations manager

Finding a pharmaceutical job

If you think that a job in a pharmaceutical company is the right fit for you, then it's time to start looking at vacancies. Here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we advertise vacancies from some of the UK's industry-leading pharmaceutical companies.

Our expert recruiters can work alongside you to help place you in the perfect pharmaceutical role. Why not start your journey now by browsing our current vacancies:

Pharmaceutical Vacancies >

Get in touch if you're on the hunt for a job at a pharmaceutical company. They're ready and waiting to help make your dream career a reality. 

Here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we know that looking for a job can be one of life's biggest stresses. It's why we do what we do. We want to help bright, talented and qualified people find their dream jobs and we want to make the process enjoyable! More...

graduate recruitment consultant

Do you have a degree in business, economics, science, engineering, management or something similar? Would you like to join a life-changing recruitment company? If the answer to both of these questions is yes - take a look at our Graduate Recruitment Consultant role!

Hyper Recruitment Solutions is a specialist science recruitment company run by Ricky Martin in partnership with Lord Alan Sugar. At HRS, we match talented individuals with modern science companies who work to create life-saving drugs and revolutionary technologies.

We're on the look-out for an enthusiastic, ambitious graduate to join our team of life-changers in Loughton, Essex. Enrolment takes place in July and August 2020, with assessment days being booked now!

Key Responsibilities:

  • Interacting face to face, over the phone and via email with potential clients to support them through their recruitment journey. You will act as a consultant to offer each client the best possible recruitment solution. 
  • Staying in contact with job seekers as they pursue their scientific careers. You will act as a career coach and provide CV writing support as well as interview and professional development advice.
  • You will work towards individual and team sales targets alongside organising and attending networking events, client meetings etc.

Role Requirements:

To be a successful candidate for this Graduate Recruitment Consultant role, you need to have:

  • A relevant degree in a relevant discipline (business, science, management etc). You must have high levels of motivation and drive with some previous experience working in a customer-facing role.
  • Candidates with experience in telephone or face to face sales will take priority, as well as people with a passion for sales targets and confidence working in a fast-paced environment.

If you haven't heard back from us in two weeks, please assume your application was unsuccessful. We deal with a high number of applications, so unfortunately, we can't answer each one individually.

Want to learn more about this role or submit your application? Click the button below.

Graduate Recruitment Consultant >

The worlds of science and medicine things change and develop at an alarmingly fast rate - and things won't be slowing down in 2020. We took a look at this article from the Nature Research Journal which rounds up the predictions made by some of the biggest names in science to give you an idea of what to expect in the coming year. 



Computing Cancer

Christina Curtis - Computational and Systems Biologist at Stanford University, California

 As it stands, we don't know the process by which cancer develops - we can only sample a tumour once it's become physically detectable. This is one of the problems that researchers have been battling for years now, but Curtis' research team might have created something to help study cancer development. 

"Our team built a computational model to explore the dynamics of tumour progression while accounting for tissue spatial structure". Using this model, the team are able to simulate different scenarios and create 'virtual tumours' that mimic the tumours of real patients.

They hope that this simulated data can be compared to real-life scenarios, allowing researchers to infer how the tumour came to be.

Better cryo-EM samples

Hongwei Wang - Structural biologist at Tsinghua University, Beijing

Cryo-EM (cryogenic electron microscopy) is a method in which biological specimens are quickly frozen in liquid nitrogen, preserving their molecules and preventing damage during the electron imaging process.

Wang predicts that in two or three years "cryo-EM will become the most powerful tool for deciphering the structures of macromolecules". Hopefully, the development of this technique will help us gain a better understanding of biochemical mechanisms, enabling better drug development.

Improving RNA Analysis

Sarah Woodson - Biophysicist at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland

Woodson is "keeping her eye on long-read RNA sequencing and live-cell imaging using light-up RNA strands called aptamers". 

Short-read sequencing can be used to identify RNA sequences that contain biochemically modified residues, but long-read sequencing can determine how common a particular modification is within the cell, as well as helping technicians determine whether changes in one part of the RNA molecule relate to another.

Aptamers, which are strands of DNA or RNA capable of binding to fluorescent dyes, allow researchers to track things like the formation of intracellular RNA clusters which lead to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's.

Woodson expects to see the aptamers used to study the development of cancers, metabolic syndromes and Alzheimers as the technology progresses.  

If you'd like to play a part in creating life-changing technologies like the ones outlined here, we can help you find the perfect career. Browse our current job vacancies or get in touch to get the ball rolling.

Browse Career Opportunities >

Investors in People - We're Gold!

We are delighted to announce that we've been awarded a Gold Accreditation from We Invest in People!

Achieving gold accreditation means that everyone working for HRS, whether it's our managing director CEO or the newest member of staff, work together to bring our policies and place of work to life.

Only 17% of organisations that work with We Invest in People achieve Gold standard - so this is really exciting news for us!

Paul Devoy, CEO of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate Hyper Recruitment Solutions. Gold accreditation on We invest in people is a fantastic effort for any organisation, and places Hyper Recruitment Solutions in fine company with a host of organisations that understand the value of people.

HRS staff at the annual HRS awards ceremony


What is the We Invest in People accreditation?

The We Invest in People accreditation is a three-year program that assesses all kinds of workplaces using a special 'people' framework.

This accreditation all about understanding how workers feel when they come to work. Do they feel looked after? Are they happy? Are they rewarded properly for their hard work?

Investors in People use nine different indicators to determine how well we look after our staff. These are:

  • How well we lead and inspire our people
  • How we incorporate our company values into our behaviours
  • How we empower and involve people to do their best in the company
  • How well we manage performance, track progress and provide feedback
  • How good we are at recognising and rewarding high performance
  • How roles are clearly defined so everyone works towards a common objective
  • How well we build capability, hiring people at the right time for the right roles
  • How we deliver continuous improvement within the company
  • How we create sustainable success to stay ahead in our industry


Our results!

The Investors in People team gave the HRS workforce a survey to find out how they really feel about their working life. After getting to know our staff for a number of months, it's amazing to see that...

  • 97% of people think they're encouraged to use their initiative in their roles at HRS
  • 94% of people agree that they are encouraged to improve the way they do things

Alongside these encouraging statistics, we've also had some really lovely feedback from our wonderful HRS teams such as...

"I feel it's a very transparent place to work. We all know how the business is performing against the objective and Ricky won't hide things when things aren't going to plan".

"My manager helps me work out what my objectives should be, but they are not all dictated. I like the fact that I'm supported when things are going well, but also not shot down if I have had a bad month".

"I love the fact that we are a forward-thinking company. We are expected to work hard, but this is well recognised and I can see a future with HRS".

The overwhelmingly positive feedback that our staff members gave contributed to us achieving our Gold accreditation. We're so pleased that our workers feel that they're challenged but cared for when they come to work here at HRS.


Who are Investors in People?

The average person spends 80,000 hours at work during their lifetime, and investors in people help to make working environments better worldwide!

So far, they've helped more than 11 million people across 75 different countries make their working-lives more rewarding.

They're a community interest company, which means they put their purpose before their profits. Everything that they do works towards making work better for everyone!

If you'd like to become part of the HRS family, we have a number of exciting vacancies on offer. Click the button below to find out more!

Jobs at HRS >