Clinical and Industrial Drug Development

Clinical and industrial drug development is a rapidly expanding field in which scientists make discoveries that ameliorate the human condition. If you are interested in science and enjoy working in a laboratory setting, clinical and industrial drug development may be a field to consider.

Inside Clinical and Industrial Drug Development

According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, it takes 10-15 years to develop a new drug (www.phrma.org). Scientists must identify exactly what is causing a particular illness, find or create a molecule to combat it, test the molecule on animals and humans, apply for approval from the Food and Drug Administration and then find a way to mass-produce it in a cost-effective way. Every aspect of this process requires the skills of highly trained scientists and technicians who perform tasks like reviewing large sets of data, evaluating patients involved in clinical trials, performing autopsies on lab animals and compiling reports.

Education Information

Clinical and industrial drug development usually takes place at a pharmaceutical company, where scientists are expected to hold a master's or doctoral degree and technicians need a bachelor's degree or at least related chemistry and biology coursework. Because of the diverse scientific approaches necessary to develop a new medication, drug development scientists can have training in a variety of different scientific disciplines from genetics to organic chemistry or biochemical engineering.

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