Pharmaceutical medicine

Pharmaceutical physicians work with pharmaceutical industries, research organisations, medical regulatory bodies (such as the MHRA) or as independent practitioners to develop, evaluate and market new medicines for the benefit of patients and the health of the community.

This page provides useful information on the nature of the work, the common procedures/interventions, sub-specialties and other roles that may interest you.

Pharmaceutical supplies

Nature of the work

Pharmaceutical physicians are clinically-trained but do not continue to have direct responsibility for patient care. They apply their skills to the discovery, development, evaluation, registration, monitoring and medical aspects of the marketing of medicines. They work within the strict pharmaceutical legal and regulatory framework, and additionally within ethical and professional codes of medical governance to minimise risks to patients. The specialist pharmaceutical physician should be registered and retain a licence to practise with the GMC by engaging in annual appraisals and revalidation every five years.

The role of the pharmaceutical physician has widened to cover all areas of pharmaceutical medicine including:

  • drug candidate selection
  • clinical research
  • medical marketing
  • drug safety and pharmacovigilance
  • regulatory affairs
  • medical and scientific affairs
  • pharmacoeconomics
  • societal and public health issues relating to pharmaceuticals in the wider context of healthcare delivery

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Other roles that may interest you

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