Industrial Pharmacy

Industrial Pharmacists are mainly involved in the research, design, development and testing of new medicines and treatments, ensuring their safety and quality. 

pipetting-into-flask-landscapeWant to be part of a team responsible for creating and marketing a medicine that helps millions of people all over the world? Industrial pharmacists work in companies that essentially manufacture medicines, however they are involved in different stages of this process, from initial design to public launch and sales. 

You will be using the latest technologies, processes and methods to develop new medicines for patients. Although many pharmacists start off their careers in industry in a laboratory based role, the areas that pharmacists work in include many non lab roles. For example in Medicines Information, Regulatory Affairs, Marketing and Business Development.

Industrial pharmacy can be an extremely rewarding career path and can lead to managerial positions or other positions that are not traditionally associated with pharmacy within the same company. 

A role which involves many different skills is that of a Qualified Person (QP). Here you are responsible for releasing product for supply to the market and confirming that it has been made and tested to the required quality standards in line with the registered methods and processes. Roles in Quality Assurance can involve overseas travel to either other locations in your own company or to the sites of suppliers.

Case study

Monica Sudra
Scientific Advisor, GlaxoSmithKline

Graduating from pharmacy, I undertook a split pre-registration training programme with the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry in product research and development. I was involved in drug formulation and it was exciting and rewarding to work as part of a multidisciplinary team of chemists, statisticians and other pharmacists. I also began to see the variety of career paths pharmacists were well placed to peruse within the industry – such as manufacturing, drug development, commercial sales and marketing roles and regulatory affairs to name a few. I wanted a career that would allow me to benefit patients, provide me with diversity in my role and enable me to apply my skills and knowledge to further challenge and develop myself.

Since qualifying as a pharmacist, I became a Senior Clinical Safety Scientist in pharmacovigilance with in the industry, which gave me a great insight into this important field of industry. Progressing from this role, I am now a Scientific Advisor in the vaccines medical affairs division. It is immensely rewarding to work towards continually improving public health, whilst also bringing value to the business.