Pharma Jobs in UK

Thursday, March 17th, 2011 - Pharma Jobs in UK

Pharma Jobs in UK Tracking Every Facet of Life, from Sleep to Mood to Pain #1

In the past 12months, the UK’s headline number for Pharma Jobs in UK has fallen by over 10,000 positions, with first Pfizer and then Glaxo, and now Novartis all announcing cuts in their research and development staff in the UK. Yet overall employment in the UK Pharma sector continues to rise. What is happening in Pharma Jobs in the UK, and how should job seekers react to this market shift to give themselves the best chance of employment?

Pharma UK

The grim statistics of Pharma research and development are, that only 30% of drugs in development will actually make it all the way through an often over eight year development process, to become an income producing product. With the average Pharma R&D project costing over half a billion dollars (everything is measured in dollars in the Pharma industry), that means that on average, to produce one revenue making drug, you need to invest US$1.5Bn.

After a successful drug is produced, it then has a patent license for 20years, where the developer also has to license a main sub-producer so that the supplies of the drug can be considered secure to the health industry. That means that to repay R&D costs alone, plus interest, the drug needs to be producing $100M a year in income alone, let alone sales and distribution costs, to repay its effective R&D costs. This business model was not sustainable.

New Pharma business model

Now that the human genome has been mapped, new drug needs and opportunities are developing quickly. There are now far too many new potential projects and resultant products for the major pharma companies to invest in, so what do they do?

Secondly, the investment capital market has woken up to the opportunities in the new pharma market. They are quite happy with a 30% based return on ventures, which is often better than they would receive investing in lower performing sectors.

Thirdly, in the old model there was the problem of the glass ceiling. With huge R&D facilities, the opportunities for career development in your chosen sector had definitive limits. Now, if you have a passion for a particular type of disease or health area, and you have the base data material for your research, you can start your own drug company.

The result is that there are hundreds of new drug companies, backed by enthusiastic venture capital companies, some of whom will be successful, and some of whom won’t in finding new drugs. Those that do develop successful products need help with both type approvals and sales and distribution, and so hence get invested into or sold to the traditional large pharma companies, who now have a far lower risk on their investment.

Pharma Jobs in UK

Most people searching and applying for pharma Jobs will be looking for research based opportunities, which now divide into three neat options. For post-graduate opportunities, look to the big pharma companies for some early commercial experience, selecting a company with a known research line in which you have an interest. Then when that line divests itself – as it inevitably will – you have the choice to join the new small development company, or jump to a new line. There is also the possibility that your Ph.d research will be aligned with an existing small development company, in which case start developing relationships via your Networking Skills during the development, research and writing of your thesis. Well backed by venture capital investment, these companies are now taking a larger stream of employees straight from university.

If you have a developed career, then your choices are simple: join a start-up, or stay where you are. The opportunities to progress upwards will be defined by your business results, but the clear pattern of the new pharma business model is clear, and hence you also have to accept a higher upside risk of redundancy.

The main area where big pharma companies are employing clinicians is in drug approvals. All the time that they can save in this critical area, means that the drug has a longer period of time producing more revenue while under patent. Its as business driven as it is clinically driven, and hence career development opportunities in this area tend to be wider and more diverse in the medium term.

The third area of high recruitment is in sales and marketing. Pharma sales training is of the highest quality, and gives you a skill for life. The problem is that this makes competition high, and from a diverse range of potential candidates, from graduates to sales professionals and qualified clinicians.

Pharma Jobs in UK are still available, and still expanding. Its just that their diversity and employers are changing, and job applicants in this area need to be wholly aware of these changes.

Good Luck!


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