Even at the start of the 21st century there are many diseases which cannot be cured by existing medicines and surgical treatment. For some there are treatments available, but they often involve complicated combinations of medicines, or the medicines have side effects which discourage people from taking them.
So, discovery and development of new medicines is still very important. Pharmaceutical companies in the UK employ thousands of people, 73,000 at the last count, including laboratory scientists, engineers, IT professionals, statisticians, doctors, pharmacists, marketing managers, medical representatives and many others. In addition to these, there are more than 6,000 people working for specialist companies which provide services to the sector.
Research and Development (R&D) covers the initial search for a molecule to treat the disease, through to having a product ready to market.
If you like the idea of a career where your own skills develop as fast as the technology that you’re exploiting, then manufacture is ideal.
Within the commercial side of a company there are a large number of people working towards promoting the medicines their company produces.