Oct 21, 2019
3
0
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Non-Student
I have had the goal of working in the pharmaceutical industry for several years now, but unfortunately it seems like getting a job at places like Genentech, Astrazeneca, GSK, etc. is akin to winning the lottery. I recently graduated with a BS in chemical engineering and had a decent GPA (3.5), did an independent study, and was a secondary author on a published paper. The closest I have gotten to getting a position at one of these companies was a phone interview, but was passed up for someone better qualified.

Now, I am thinking about going back for a second degree in Biochemistry and wrapping up all the prerequisites for pharmacy school, which will only take one year, and then going on to a PharmD program. I figured that with a PharmD, BS in Chem Eng and BA in Biochem it would set me up to become an industrial pharmacist. I do not know anyone personally in industry or know any pharmacists, so I do not know the realistic expectations of this plan.

What do you think? Is my plan just me dreaming or does it have some validity? What are the chances of getting into industry this way? Is there another method you would recommend to get into industry? I appreciate your help, thank you!
 

stoichiometrist

7+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2011
2,224
2,252
unfortunately it seems like getting a job at places like Genentech, Astrazeneca, GSK, etc. is akin to winning the lottery.
It still is even if you have a PharmD. The vast majority of PharmDs end up in retail.
 
OP
C
Oct 21, 2019
3
0
Status
Non-Student
I was afraid of that. I really don't have much interest pursuing a PhD, I would much rather get an MD. There is always the PhD/MD option, but I am far too old for that and there is much too much schooling involved.
 

Hels2007

I bite
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10+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2007
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For industry, it's far more practical to get a degree that would prepare you for a specific role within industry. Can be many thing - from marketing to biostatistics to epidemiology... figure out what it is you want to do, then it will be easier to chart a path towards that goal.
 

angelsplight

5+ Year Member
Oct 10, 2013
111
66
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Doubt those places really hire any pharmacist. When I did a Fresenius Kabi tour, that place only had like 2-3? pharmacist and everyone else aren't pharmacist.
 

Emmet2301

10+ Year Member
Sep 14, 2008
171
24
Status
I think a BS ChemE gives you more opps for working in industry than a BA Biochem(which loads of people have). I have a BS Biochem and I was only getting lab assistant jobs.

Can you try for getting in QA in the pharmaceutical industry and work up from there?

I agree that you will need further schooling, either PhD or a MBA or something. What is it in industry that you want to do?
 

zona2016

2+ Year Member
Nov 13, 2015
109
36
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Pre-Pharmacy
A ChemE degree sets you up for more manufacturing or quantitative roles within pharma. The PharmD would get you to the more "clinical" (clinical research, med affairs, regulatory, marketing) areas of industry. Honestly, I wouldn't really go to pharmacy school unless you wanted to be a pharmacist first, industry second. Look into starting a contract role, they seem easier to get and can give you the experience you need. If you really want to go to pharmacy school, take the pre-reqs that you need at a CC, take the pcat and apply.
 
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OP
C
Oct 21, 2019
3
0
Status
Non-Student
I wanted to do biologic manufacturing; i.e. process design, cell growth, protein extraction, etc. Unfortunately that probably isn't going to happen. A PhD sets me up to do more research, which I'm not that interested in, plus it sort of seems like a waste of time unless that's your driving passion.

Now I'm considering med school. I would just need to learn a bit of biochemistry and then study for the mcat, which doesn't seem too hard. I can't do any sort of surgery role, but anesthesiology or internal medicine sound interesting to me. If I got my MD I would want to be able to do general medicine for mission trips to third world countries too.
 

zona2016

2+ Year Member
Nov 13, 2015
109
36
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
If you are not to interested in clinical medicine, then think twice about it. Also, unless its your passion, it doesn't make sense to go get an MD. Also, if relocation is an option you can definitely go work at biotech companies around the US or overseas doing the work you want. Its always important to start somewhere and go up from there.
 
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Emmet2301

10+ Year Member
Sep 14, 2008
171
24
Status
Wait, why can't you get into biological manufacturing? You could network and if you apply to the right jobs/experience you should be able to get into that field. (Might mean moving to NJ or a biotech area or getting an MS in Biomanufacturing, but shouldn't be too hard).

Phd yes is mainly for research. Do you want to get into manufacturing research?

Getting an MD is a big process and you shouldn't get into it unless you're 100% sure that's what you want to do. Is this what you actually want to do?
 
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GradVantageRx

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Sep 30, 2019
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Amicable Angora

Lagomorpha
7+ Year Member
Oct 5, 2012
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If you do pursue pharmacy school to try to enter industry, you will likely have to complete a fellowship which is the industry equivalent of residency.
 
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AlwaysContrary

2+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2017
169
197
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Pharmacist
a PharmD can most certainly get you an industrial position, however, it will require post graduate training. That training can be a form of residency or fellowship (both of which are either 1-2 years extra). The fellowship gives you a direct foot in the door and the residency gives you the experience they require on job postings. I know many pharmacists who make the jump to industry so our expertise is definitely valued (unlike what people say on here).
 

calikid1989

7+ Year Member
Mar 6, 2012
74
16
Status
Pharmacist
It depends on what the job title is and where exactly you are. My ex got a Reg Affairs job in California with only a bachelors while I went on to do a PharmD and worked before getting a similar paying job to get my feet wet in industry. Willing to bet you can network your ass off into one of these companies if you put yourself out there.
 

knight on horse

5+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2013
364
50
Status
Pharmacist
I have had the goal of working in the pharmaceutical industry for several years now, but unfortunately it seems like getting a job at places like Genentech, Astrazeneca, GSK, etc. is akin to winning the lottery. I recently graduated with a BS in chemical engineering and had a decent GPA (3.5), did an independent study, and was a secondary author on a published paper. The closest I have gotten to getting a position at one of these companies was a phone interview, but was passed up for someone better qualified.

Now, I am thinking about going back for a second degree in Biochemistry and wrapping up all the prerequisites for pharmacy school, which will only take one year, and then going on to a PharmD program. I figured that with a PharmD, BS in Chem Eng and BA in Biochem it would set me up to become an industrial pharmacist. I do not know anyone personally in industry or know any pharmacists, so I do not know the realistic expectations of this plan.

What do you think? Is my plan just me dreaming or does it have some validity? What are the chances of getting into industry this way? Is there another method you would recommend to get into industry? I appreciate your help, thank you!
Unless you're a genius, you will need connections. PharmD at a glance is doubtful, though who knows, maybe you'll be in a program that has good interface with big pharma, you do well, and big pharma is still interested in new staff when you graduate
 

wazoodog

7+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2012
40
83
Status
Pharmacist
Being a genius doesn't help in getting into the pharmaceutical industry, unless you're a genius in something related to interpersonal relationships and influence. Connections help - not just in getting your resume to the right person at the right time but mostly for getting useful tips about the hiring process. Mostly, it comes down to persistence, positive energy, savviness, and willingness to take the lesser known road.