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The future professionals in the drug sector

Although recession and economic crisis have invested Europe and market economy in general, the industry for the manufacturing and sale of pharmaceuticals still “holds”. It is quite natural that young people take it into consideration when choosing a career that can ensure a safe working future.

This is, however, a sector that underwent deep changes in recent years – just think of the increased quality and pharmacovigilance responsibilities. New professional figure have emerged and many more will appear in the light of the continuous novelties investing this field.

Actually, new professional competence, rather than new professions, will be needed. For instance, doctors will be needed, to lead medical units inside pharmaceutical industries, but to carry out functions that are very different from those considered when choosing the medical school. In fact, pharmaceutical industries already complaint about the great difficulty in enrolling graduates for roles inside scientific and research units. Many medicine graduates do not know that they have a potential future in the pharmaceutical sector, or think they should sacrifice the clinical side of the profession. Nothing could be falser, the representative of this sector explain. Working in the pharmaceutical industry offers the chance to follow the entire process, from the drug development up to its clinical use. And one should not forget research, often carried out outside the company, in dedicated outsourced organisation working in strict cooperation with the company itself.

Doctors are not the only professionals needed: there is room for biologistsbiotechnologistschemistspharmacistspharmacologists, as well as engineers. And the scientific studies will not be the sole courses to ensure a job for young people. More traditional degrees in humanities, such as law or economics, are very much sought after. With the increasing national and European regulations, all companies need a legal office, while emerging careers include pharmaeconomics and health management.

But which are the most required figures nowadays in the pharmaceutical industry? The figures arising include first of all the medical liaison: doctors or biologists/biotechnologists capable of building professional relations with the main stakeholders of this field to understand markets, competitors and business dynamics, seize new opportunities of development and actively interact with national and regional health bodies and organisation. It is, however, very difficult to find doctors with this kind of competence, who are also specialised in specific branches of medicine.

Medical advisers are also very requested. This figure, halfway between a doctor and a pharmaceutical sale representative, has a role of scientific support, manages clinical trials, prepares registration applications for new products, trains pharmaceutical sale representatives, attends scientific congresses, and manages contacts with the sector opinion leaders.

Experts in therapy customisation, clinical research and pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics are also on the rise. Finally, requests of big data analysts are increasing, to manage and analyse the huge amount of data from the steady application of technologies to all aspects of our daily life. This will be, according to the projections, the most required profession by companies all over the world, including the pharma sector.