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
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.
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
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