Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The physician in the pharmaceutical industry

What do we know about the role of a physician within the pharmaceutical industry? You probably never did an elective rotation where you could experience this life. You probably never had a chance to shadow a pharmaceutical physician. So how would you know?

Here's an abstract from an Acta Med Port article published in 1993 about "[The physician in the pharmaceutical industry]" (note: the title is in brackets because the original article was published in Portuguese.)

The physician's role in the pharmaceutical industry has changed over the past years. This change is a consequence of several factors, namely the evolution of the industry itself, the legislative and regulatory changes in this particular area, the development of medicine, new techniques and research, and finally the physician's needs. The changes that this activity has undergone not only create new stimuli for the physicians in the industry, but also new challenges and needs for the complete achievement of their career. This is a review article of the main functions and responsibilities of the physician in the pharmaceutical industry as well as the new challenges that this group of physicians faces. Finally, special attention is given to post-graduate courses and their relation with the academic structure.
Acta Med Port. 1993 Jul;6(7):361-5.
PMID: 8379357

I'm sure much has changed since 1993.  Probably one of the biggest areas is in communications and computing technology. Modern business executives are expected to carry smartphones (such as the BlackBerry) and respond quickly to urgent e-mails and other business emergencies. You'll be expected to also have a laptop so that you can work while you're traveling. These types of technologies (particularly the smartphone) were not nearly as ubiquitous back in 1993 compared to 2009. Modern laptops are much more sophisticated and you can do so much more on these mobile computers. You'll be expected to have strong computing skills so that you can be effective and efficient in the corporate world.

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