Learn how you can pursue a career in pharmaceutical administration, including what degrees you'll need to earn before you'll be qualified for a position. Find information about potential areas of employment here, along with how much you can earn as a clinical pharmacy manager or pharmacist.
Is Pharmaceutical Administration for Me?
Pharmacists dispense drugs to patients and work with physicians to develop drug therapies. Many pharmacists also research and develop new medications. Pharmaceutical administrators may have similar responsibilities. They also act as liaisons for different professionals in the industry, such as doctors, pharmacists and healthcare executives.
As a pharmacist or pharmaceutical administrator, you may work in a community pharmacy, healthcare institution, pharmaceutical organization or government agency focused on pharmaceutical education. Depending on your position, you might conduct pharmacoeconomic research or oversee management and marketing activities. While the pharmaceutical industry is expected to change as more routine tasks become automated, opportunities for research positions are expected to grow as scientists search for new cures for diseases.
Employment and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2013, pharmacists earned an average annual salary of $116,500. Nationwide, opportunities for employment were expected to increase by an average rate of 14% from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). Based upon information provided by PayScale.com in June 2014, salaries for clinical pharmacy managers ranged from $101,366-$140,644 a year. In the same month, PayScale.com also reported that project managers in pharmaceuticals earned from $51,804-$135,115 a year.
How Can I Work in Pharmaceutical Administration?
To pursue a career in pharmaceutical science, you'll most likely need a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), which usually take four years to complete. After earning your Pharm.D., you could also pursue a graduate degree in pharmaceutical administration. In general, students enrolled in pharmacy science or administration programs learn about pharmacy law and ethics, pharmaceutical calculations, biochemistry and pharmacotherapy. Undergraduate preparation for a pharmaceutical administration program can include courses in business.
Doctor of Pharmacy Programs (Pharm.D.)
Once enrolled in a Pharm.D. program, you'll pursue a rigorous course load that includes topics in drug therapy, communications, ethics and management. You may also take classes in public affairs, law and sociology. Additional training can be found through fellowship or residency programs, which will be required if you wish to work in a clinical setting.
Graduate Programs in Pharmacy Administration
Master's and doctoral programs in pharmacy administration emphasize the business aspect of the industry and include courses in pharmaceutical policy and pharmacoepidemiology, as well as the study of social behavioral issues in relation to pharmacoeconomics. Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (concentration in pharmacy administration) programs may cover topics in drug development, health economics, healthcare policy and marketing. Additional coursework in the use of primary and secondary data and research methodology may be helpful when it comes time to write your thesis.
Doctoral programs in pharmacy administration include advanced coursework in healthcare policy, patient behavior, pharmaceutical marketing and pharmacoeconomics. You'll also receive intensive training in the use of research methods and statistics, which can help you write and defend your dissertation. Some programs allow for specialized tracks in marketing or pharmaceutical management.
Pharmacist licenses are required in all 50 states. Requirements include successful completion of a Pharm.D. program and satisfactory scores on a number of comprehensive examinations.