Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance Careers

Expectations of a Pharmaceutical Applicant

Those who wish to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry are required to have a medical degree or an equivalent qualification in life sciences, nursing or pharmacy. Further studies such as postgraduate qualifications can be advantageous for a candidate wishing to pursue a career in the industry.

Some institutions of higher education offer a Master’s degree specializing in Pharmacovigilance, which is highly valued by many employers within the pharmaceutical industry. The course will provide students with vital knowledge and understanding of what a career in the industry entails, including experience of risk assessment, report writing, and signal detection. Students also learn about existing regulatory authorities.

Experience is important when getting ahead of other candidates fighting for a position in drug safety and Pharmacovigilance. Observing and partaking in the industry first-hand as a placement student, or even shadowing a nurse or pharmacist demonstrates an applicant’s interest and willingness to work in a clinical background.

Careers in Pharmacovigilance

There are many different roles and job titles in regulatory affairs. Employees would typically begin their career as a drug safety associate, scientist or coordinator with sight to advance to specialty, senior and management positions in an area of Pharmacovigilance.

Medical writing, quality assurance, and medical affairs are some of the main areas of focus for advanced employees; however, these positions come with increased responsibility and require experience.

Also, if candidates are willing, there are many opportunities abroad focusing upon drug safety. These tend to be positioned in larger companies and so offer further scope for progression into authoritative roles.

The yearly salary for a career in Pharmacovigilance can vary substantially, but earnings usually fall between the figures of £25,000 and £60,000 per annum. This depends greatly on factors such as the regulatory body, location, experience and position of responsibility.

Types of Jobs in The Pharmaceutical Industry

Drug safety officers are responsible for tracking and observing reactions and effects during drug trials and studies. A report on the study is to be submitted to regulatory authorities, and once the report has been submitted drug safety managers must organize and review the reports to monitor the profile of specific medication products.

Drug safety physicians assess and attain information about the safety of the products. They are also required to carry out medical case reviews and evaluate product safety during clinical trialing.

Many pharmaceutical jobs are either permanent or contract agreements; with impermanent positions usually lasting between three to twelve months.

Personal Attributes and Aptitude Required for Pharmaceutical Sales Reps

Working as a pharmaceutical sales representative is a great career but is not for everyone. I’ve seen individuals succeed and I’ve seen others fail in this environment. Having been a pharma sales representative for many years myself and having been in the capacity to hire, train as well as manage reps, I know for sure what personal attributes are required to do well in this field. A certain aptitude is necessary for this line of work.


First, for the clear majority of pharmaceutical companies, a four-year university or college degree will be required for candidates hoping to become sales reps. Having said this, academic requirements are not limited to science degrees only. Many pharmaceutical representatives have degrees in other fields including business and general arts. A background in science will be nice but candidates with other backgrounds can still be pharmaceutical sales reps if other personal qualities right for the job are there.

Organizational Skills

Pharmaceutical sales representatives must be highly organized individuals in planning their work days since booking appointments, visiting different medical offices, servicing pharmacies, answering inquiries, planning what to do for each sales call, recording results and analyzing sales data are all part of the job. Reps have the freedom to schedule and plan their days but they must do so on their own every single work day. Doing things in an efficient manner to make the most of the available working hours of the day takes good organizational skills.

Personality and Social Skills

A pharmaceutical sales job is not for the introverted since, after all, it is sales work. Outgoing individuals with good social skills who are not shy in meeting new people on a continuous basis is among the personality characteristics required in this line of work. The selling process in pharmaceuticals involves building business relationships with customers who can sometimes be tough individuals to deal with.

Self-Motivated, Independent, and a Team Player

Although not having a boss looking over your shoulder most of the time is something many people would want, a pharmaceutical sales person must be an extremely self-motivated individual. There is a lot of freedom and independence in this type of job but the pharma rep must be self-motivated and independent enough to get up in the morning to get out there to make the required sales calls even in bad weather unless all the roads are completely shut down. Representatives must be able to not only work well when alone but also as a team player when working with others in the company. Those who work well alone and with others will do very well.

Aptitude for Selling

One false impression that many people have is that all pharmaceutical reps do are drive around in nice cars and drop off drug samples to clinics. This is so far from the truth. Yes, reps drive nice cars and do distribute samples but the position is still a sales job. Pharmaceutical representatives still must sell. For most therapeutic areas, there will be several different product options or treatments that doctors can choose from for their patients. It is up to the pharma rep to convince the doctor to prescribe the company’s product whenever an appropriate patient shows up.

Able to Handle Rejection

Although most people that representatives meet in the field are quite friendly, there will be some customers, even important top physicians, who will appear to be quite rude and antisocial. There will be some customers who will be completely indifferent and even refuse to use your product. A sales rep must be able to take rejection from customers daily without being affected negatively or personally. It’s all part of the job.

Good Driving Record

Since driving is required in this job, a good driving record and continued decent driving habits will be necessary. A loss of a driving license will also mean a loss of a pharma sales job. On top of that, there must be the willingness on your part that you will have to get in and out of your car all day as well as deal with whatever weather patterns that exist in your local region.

Gleaming Future in Pharmaceutical Engineering

An outstanding growth is made by pharmaceutical industries in a very short duration of time and is ready to make a remarkable growth in the forthcoming years. The history of pharmaceutical industries has made an astonishing change since 60’s and 70’s. The situation is completely different now because of the creative approach it is having in the field of medicines ( dentiste garde ). To rule the world and make their presences feel they require numerous talented pharmaceutical professionals.

Till now the U.S and the European pharmaceuticals were ruling the world but due to the regular creativeness, Asian pharmaceuticals have left them behind. The economic crisis had a very adverse effect on the world market but pharmaceutical industries were left untouched. All the companies are now hounding over the pharmaceutical industries and the demand for pharmaceutical engineers are greatly increased. To obtain suitable pharmaceutical engineers, the companies are now switching to off-shoring in the place of outsourcing.

The scarcity of worthy pharmaceutical professionals is the greatest challenge faced by the pharmaceutical industries and has led to the holdover of many important projects. New methods to find the required engineers are being implemented by the biotech industries. In the forthcoming years, the ratio of the number of professionals with Ph.D.’s and masters will be greatly increased and they will reach the highest position of the companies.

The main areas of interest of the emerging pharmaceutical graduates are cross-functional skills like the development of the product, the design theory, and the quality system. Thus, getting business knowledge and sufficient time to spend on research work, the graduates generally opt to start their career with a small industry and then continue in their work in larger and renowned companies.