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Do pharmacist make drugs?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by shimshimhey, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. shimshimhey

    shimshimhey 5+ Year Member

    Jan 8, 2008
    Who are the people who make drugs? I know that pharmacists dispense drugs, but I never really understood who actually "creates these drugs" from like Johnson&Johnson or Tynenol. Are they Chemists? Pharmacologists? Because I am interested in making drugs to help many people. That can't sound any more cliche..
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  3. mike36

    mike36 7+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Scientists that work in drug manufacturing can have a variety of backgrounds. It also depends on what you mean by making drugs. Scientists that are trying to formulate a compound into a delivery system will probably have a PhD in pharmaceutics. Scientists working on drug discovery and design will probably have a PhD in medicinal chemistry. Scientists working on discovering how the drug actually works in the body may have a PhD in pharmacology.

    Of course, these are all generalizations. I don't have any experience in industry, but maybe others that know a little more about it can chime in.
  4. redley

    redley 7+ Year Member

    Oct 14, 2007
    I make drugs. I sent you a PM.
  5. RxWildcat

    RxWildcat Julius Randle BEASTMODE! Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    I guess, technically medicinal chemists make drugs.
  6. Organic chemists synthesize the active ingredients of what will eventually become a drug. Usually, the organic chemists with PhDs are in charge of the whole big drug discovery project and then there are organic chemists who have MS and BS who assist in the project. I interned at a pharmaceutical company to see if I would like working in industry, and you really have to know your O-chem. It's pretty cool though. I ended up with en entire stack of NMRs, MS, and HPLC printouts - all those trees that I killed last summer. LoL.
  7. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    The closest thing to "making drugs" in pharmacy is compounding pharmacy. There, you don't actually manufacture drugs, just mess around with the dosage form or mix stuff up to make it better for the patient.

    If you want take part in the research sector in pharmaceutical companies that manufacture and create new drugs, then you need a different direction.
  8. DoctorRx1986

    DoctorRx1986 10+ Year Member

    Feb 11, 2008

    Ah, Organic Chemistry...My personal favorite :love:
  9. I like O-chem too! Except I don't think I could work in the chemistry lab doing research my entire life. I work at a hospital right now and it's much more lively!
  10. RxWildcat

    RxWildcat Julius Randle BEASTMODE! Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    But o-chem lab smelled so lovely..:rolleyes:
  11. 52PharmD

    52PharmD 2+ Year Member

    Feb 6, 2008
    They make compounds :p:p:p

    They design drugs also
    UCSF has such program:luck:
  12. LoKoTe

    LoKoTe 10+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    specially when synthesizing sulfa drugs ... :rolleyes:
  13. AggiePharmer

    AggiePharmer Pharmatoxicogenomicist 2+ Year Member

    Mar 1, 2008
    San Diego
    In short, Mike's right.

    Generally, drug development starts with the chemists trying to develop drug libraries. Drug libraries, or groups of compounds designed around specific biological parameters (ie: ACE inhibitors, GPR30 agonists, ER-alpha antagonists) are useful means for trying to identify potential drug candidates. Often, senior scientists give can bracket specific classes of drugs that they'd like to pursue, give an idea to a chemist, and the chemists will go synthesize any thousands of compounds by tweaking specific functional groups. Naturally, there are many types of chemists, so analytical and medicinal chemistry are prized subject areas. Often obtaining a PhD, Masters, or taking specific electives can get you towards this career.

    Next, any dozen of successfully synthesized compounds are "handed-off" to biologists for classification and identification. Naturally, many compounds are analyzed for given parameters. These can be as simple as determining nuclear receptor binding affinity, metabolite identification, or a drug's mechanism of action. As such, biologists usually work in tandem with chemists to determine "successful" compounds by reverse-engineering their success through the progressive modulation and tweaking of specific functional groups. This'll help the chemists build better molecules, send drug candidates off to the FDA for patent filings, and HOPEFULLY, send a drug off to phase I/II clinical trials. PhD's and BS degrees aside, there's a role for pretty much any scientific background in this field, examples include: immunologists, microbiologists, geneticists, toxicologists, and oncologists.

    I realize that this was probably WAY more information than what you wanted to know, but if clinical research interests you it's probably more beneficial to go PharmD than PhD. It'll cost you more in the short-run to opt into pharm school, but if you go PharmD, you won't have to do the 2-3 post-doc experiences before getting lucky and obtaining an industry position. I work with several PharmD's that have done 1-2 research fellowships and they've specialized in drug formulation, pharmacogenomics, and toxicology. I have not had the opportunity to meet PharmD/chemistry PhD's, but that would be pretty cool.

    In short: it's your choice. You can "make drugs" by getting a degree in anything. Hope this helps.
  14. Oh yeah hahaha. That totally reminds me of one of the researchers whose hood was next to mine. He was synthesizing something that smelled hideous. I think the odor followed him all the way to his date that same night. :laugh:
  15. mustang sally

    mustang sally 10+ Year Member

    Feb 22, 2007
    The middle of nowhere
    Your company sounds like it would be really cool to work for and I love the way you describe yourself as a "Pharmatoxicogenomicist." I'm not 100% sure what kind of pathway I want to pursue with a PharmD, but I really like the idea of doing a fellowship and going on to work for a company.
  16. sharebear003


    Aug 31, 2015
    Hi what did you end up doing?

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