What does a pharmacovigilance scientist do?
While pharmaceutical products can have a very positive impact on disease prevention and treatment, they can also produce unexpected side effects. A pharmacovigilance scientist will detect, assess and prevent these side effects, to make sure they are safe for consumption.
Pharmacovigilance day-to-day tasks
Typical duties of someone working in drug safety include:
- Assessing reported adverse side effects of various pharmaceutical products
- Speaking to healthcare professionals and patients
- Keeping detailed records of research and findings
- Working as part of a team to audit different medicines and vaccines etc.
- Conducting research to better understanding
There are several types of role within PV. These include:
- Pharmacovigilance Associate
- Pharmacovigilance Scientist
- Senior Drug Safety Associate
- Pharmacovigilance Manager
- Clinical Safety Manager
Pharmacovigilance role requirements
To work in drug safety, you'll need a relevant degree, such as a pharmacy degree or a degree in life sciences. This education is vital in gaining you the necessary experience in using medical terminology and understanding of pharmaceuticals.
In order to progress to more senior roles, it may work in your favour to also have completed a master's degree in drug safety or a related subject.
The more experience you have under your belt, the better your chances of beating out the competition in a job interview. To gain experience before applying for your first role, you could take advantage of university work placements.
Pharmacovigilance key skills
To be successful in a pharmacovigilance role, you will need to...
- have good attention to detail
- have strong project management skills
- work well in a team
- be IT literate
- keep meticulous records
- have good problem-solving skills
Pharmacovigilance salary expectations
As with most careers, entry-level or graduate pharmacovigilance salaries tend to start at the lower end of the scale at around £25,000 or less per year. However, the average salary for pharmacovigilance is around £45,000 per year. More senior roles will obviously pay a lot higher, but this can vary greatly depending on the role / company.