Careers in Pharmaceutical Company Departments

As per the reports of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), almost 28 percent of jobs in the pharmaceutical firm are related to professional and related careers. Most of pharmaceutical and biotech careers are related to science technicians and scientists. Other careers include administrative support, sales and marketing.

Following are the different departments in a Pharmaceutical company:

Research and Development:

The Research and Development department determines and identifies drug candidates. In R&D department, there are three functional areas. They are discovery research, animal sciences and bioinformatics. In discovery research, experiments are performed to determine targets on the cell as well as drug candidates.

While in animal sciences department, tasks involved are providing cell cultures, growing microorganisms and taking care of animals used for discovery research. Bioinformatics is responsible for analyzing the data gathered from discovery research.

Clinical Research:

Once a potential drug candidate is determined, the clinical research department comes into picture. Clinical research is responsible for approving a drug from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It also determines the safety and effectiveness of the drug. The regulatory affairs function is responsible for ensuring all the requirements for FDA reporting are completed and submitted on time.


The Operations department produces a salable amount of a drug. Once a drug has passed the clinical trials, the manufacturing and production department manufacture the final product, along with the packaging and labeling. Also housed under the operations umbrella is the environmental health and safety function, which assesses the environmental impact of a potential product.


There are various rules and safety regulations laid down by the FDA for pharmaceuticals and biotech firms. If found guilty for drug contamination then the FDA may close the manufacturing plant of the firm. The Quality department of the pharmaceutical firm also ensures that the firm is adhering to government regulations. There are different groups which concentrate on functions like assurance, quality control as well as validation. These groups ensure that the drugs manufactured are accurate, and of a reliable standard of quality.

Finance and Administration:

The Finance and Administration department comprises different functional areas including finance, administration, legal and information systems. Responsibilities include managing activities related to finance management, handling legal relations with employees, investors, creditors as well as government regulators.

Business Development:

The Business development function recognizes potential fresh coalition partners and also handles previous alliances. They are responsible for market research, recognizing potential customers and preparing the promotion and pricing strategy.

Project Management:

Most of the pharmaceutical companies have a separate project management department. This department is responsible for coordinating the functions of all departments and also ensures smooth and efficient functioning. The Project management department also monitors particular projects.

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