Medicines development is the process of formulating, testing and evaluating a potential new medicine as it moves from the laboratory to the clinic. Chemists, biologists and pharmacologists with a research science background usually undertake early research.
Physicians who work in the pharmaceutical industry undertake many roles. Apart from those who go on to careers in general management, it is their competency in medicine that is crucial to their ability to perform their job to the high standards required.
"I joined the pharmaceutical industry because I was interested in a career in clinical research. I have not been disappointed! I enjoy collaborating with statisticians, clinicians, scientists and regulators to design and conduct efficient and feasible clinical trials, helping to bring new medicines to the market that will benefit patients. There is a different challenge every day!'
Dr Susan Tansey , Vice President & Global Head of Medical Strategy & Science at QuintilesIMS, 2016 – Present
"After a successful career in general practice I was looking for a different career option where I could challenge myself to build on transferable skills relating to knowledge of medicine, patients and healthcare, as well as working in a truly cross-functional, collaborative, 'can do' environment.
"The pharmaceutical industry seemed like an obvious choice and has never disappointed, offering a wide range of career and professional development opportunities, from an academic, people-management, leadership and medical specialty development perspective, whilst all the time allowing me to pursue my drive to work in the best interests of patients."
Dr Andrew Webb, Medical Director UK, Ireland and Nordics at Almirall, 2017 – Present
While it is common for doctors to seek a career in industry four to five years after obtaining their medical degree, others join after training in a medical specialty or in general practice to obtain the Certificate of Completion of Training. The increasing complexity of research in the modern pharmaceutical industry has created a demand for physicians with substantial research experience; for example, those with a medical degree and a BSc, MSc, PhD, MD or equivalent.