Pharmaceutical Medicine

What does a pharmaceutical company do?

Pharmaceutical companies are involved in drug design, development and marketing. As a doctor your role may be in clinical research (running clinical trials), medical affairs (the regulatory and ethical approach to bringing a drug to market) or drug safety and risk management (assessing benefit to risk ratio of new and recognised drugs).

Medical Similarities

Ultimate aim is to bring medicines to patients to address areas of unmet medical need and improve patient outcomes and safety. Examples include significant advances in hiv/aids therapies; the development of more targeted medicines with the aim of reducing systemic side effects e.g. targeted chemotherapy; the development of newer delivery mechanisms e.g. drug eluting stents.
The process of clinical research is an integral part of postgraduate medical training


Variable ~£40k upwards


~48 hrs/wk


No on-calls but may have to work the odd evening, so a good family/work balance is achievable. Depending on the sector, travel may be part of the job. If you want to experience a different side of medicine and then return to practice, pharmaceutical medicine provides a great background to clinical research and general management.


Interest in research and development as well as the commercial aspects of a business
A population rather than an individual view on health

Getting Ahead

Intercalated pharmacology BSc
Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine

Further Info

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