The pharmaceutical industry finds, develops, manufactures, and sells pharmaceuticals or biological drugs to the public for the purpose to heal them, diagnose them, treat them, or relieve the symptoms of their diseases. Pharmaceutical firms can also deal in biotechnological and generic drugs and other medical devices. They carry out the process of development of new drugs by interacting with the various stakeholders such as the academic community, the industry, government and users’ groups to derive the ideas and concepts that are essential to produce new medicines. Other pharmaceutical companies produce chemical agents and regulate the production of pharmaceutical products.
A major portion of the pharmaceutical budget is used for research and development of useful medicines and drugs. The pharma industries provide a large number of jobs to thousands of graduates and post-graduate professionals who opt for specialization in various sectors such as biotechnology and nutrition. Many pharmaceutical graduates choose a career in pharmaceutical marketing and management, in clinical research, in government and public health, in healthcare management, in pharmacology and in marketing of drugs. There are huge requirements for pharmacists in both the private and public sector. There are many career options in pharmaceutical engineering.
Technological advances have allowed the production of medicines that are stronger than those found in the past. In addition, the introduction of new molecular structures has led to the production of drugs that are more potent and that have better absorption and excretion characteristics. Some of the common medicines that are produced in laboratories are antibiotics, antiviral, chemotherapy drugs, cholesterol management drugs, hormones, blood pressure, depression drugs, diabetes, birth control pills, sex hormones, oral contraceptives, vitamins, orthopedics and vision care drugs. Several generic versions of these drugs are also manufactured. The cost of producing a generic drug is lower than the cost of producing a patented drug.