A pharmaceutical industry analyst is a specialist who strives to understand and advise companies on different aspects of the pharmaceutical industry. Analysts can be experts in pharmaceutical marketing strategy, retail, business intelligence, and regulatory affairs. In the United States, most pharmaceutical jobs are clustered in the New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania metropolitan areas. There are also many biotech jobs in California and North Carolina. Of course, opportunities exist around the world for the competent analyst — from working in a global branch of a well-known firm to advising a health-focused non-governmental organization in a third world country.
To begin training for this career, many people major in pharmacy or pharmaceutical studies in university at obtain their bachelors degree. Many companies require further training to become a pharmaceutical industry analyst, and individuals will go on to pursue an advanced degree. Some choose to pursue a masters or a doctorate in a scientific discipline, and some pursue a doctorate in pharmacy (Pharm.D.)
Individuals must have 3-5 years of relevant experience in the pharmaceutical industry to be considered for an pharmaceutical analyst position. Whether by working at one of the larger biotech or pharma firms, or by joining a small startup, industry experience is absolutely necessary for building authority in this field. From advising patients on the effects of certain drugs to providing expert witness in an industry court case, the pharmaceutical industry analyst uses his or her knowledge to champion the case of his or her clients.
Sometimes, these professionals are hired by larger firms to conduct research on business intelligence. The industry is highly competitive with many new drugs being pushed out each year. It is important for a pharmaceutical company to keep abreast of the trends and the activities of its competitors. A pharmaceutical industry analyst in this role may be asked to collaborate with the market research team to provide hard data on the success or failure of the company's current strategy. He or she may also be called upon to research the efficacy of a potential company merger or acquisition.
A pharmaceutical industry analyst who focuses on regulatory affairs has one of the most lucrative pharmacy careers. The pharmaceutical industry is rife with laws and regulations that must be strictly followed due to the sensitive nature of health care and the use of pharmaceutical drugs. People who work in this discipline have usually already secured a Pharm.D and are licensed pharmacists. They understand the laws surrounding the industry in their country, and are well equipped for a career which specializes in keeping the company up to date on all regulations.