Pharmacists in clinical research

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by bacillus1, May 29, 2008.

  1. bacillus1

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    Hi. I read an article once about pharmacists who go into clinical research, and I'm definitely interested, especially if it's a nondispensing position and I'm also involved in the design/analysis of the trials.
    I'm wondering, do such positions actually exist? I talked to a guy who works for GSK I think who said they do exist, but I've never hear of anyone working in such a setting. Anyone know of any pharmacists working in clinical research? Also, how bad is the pay difference between such a position and a retail/hospital setting? I would imagine a clinical research pharmacist would be paid less, but hopefully not too much less.
    Also I've never heard of internships in the field, though I'm pretty sure there are rotations. Any way I can decide if this is the right career path for me before rotations? I was basically 99% sure I wanted to do this until I took a clinical trials class last semester, and to be honest it seems like there's a bit too much paperwork involved. So it would be nice to get some practical experience before I do a rotation.
    For the record, I'm right now pursuing a PharmD with a statistics minor.
     
  2. futuredruggist

    futuredruggist New Member
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    There are PharmD clinical researchers. There are academics like Julie Johnson at U Florida, Howard McLeod at UNC, and Fran Aweeka and Brian Alldredge at UCSF. There is William Evans, who is a clinical and basic researcher, who is now CEO of St. Jude's Hospital, and who developed the first pharmacogenetic test for clinical use.

    Most often PharmD clinical researchers have at least 2 years post-PharmD fellowship experience to get expertise in their area. Check out the fellowships at UNC, SUNY Buffalo, and U Florida as examples.

    Recently I met a couple of PharmD clinical researchers during a field trip to a biotech company. Both did a fellowship after the PharmD and were working full time in the clinical trials group. They said the pay is less, without getting into specific numbers.

    Another industry option that is perhaps more common for PharmDs are MSL positions, where you keep up with the science regarding a certain disease state and meet with physicians and researchers in your territory to discuss the science and what your company is doing with regard to drug development. This position sounds easier to get, as you are not carrying out studies yourself. 1 year residency or fellowship (such as Rutgers industry fellowship) after the PharmD is typical.
     
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  3. MarchIoda

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    What I like about a career in pharmacy is the high demand for high paying jobs centered around drug info. It seems all the nondispensing jobs are HIGHLY competivie. Does anyone know of any slightly less competitive nondispensing postions (I know everyone probably wants one so there's not enough to go around, but slightly less competitive?)

    See, I currently work for a pharmaceutical company. All my current research is PRE-clinical (rats, mice, and monkeys). I'm actually interested in human health so I spoke with a PharmD in our Experimental Medicine Department and he said that there is no one specific job for PharmD's in pharma. The PharmDs here are scattered in different departments and do the same job functions as PhD clinical researchers. For instance in experimental medicine, the aim is to take a drug that's on the market that you know lowers cholesterol, then devise a new way of testing cholesterol levels. With your new method of testing cholesterol levels you can now pass off the experimental method you designed to other researchers who will test new drugs via this new method. So his PharmD lets him know all the info surrounding the marketed drug relevant to developing a new experimental method. Other people who do this same exact job have PhD's in pharmacology. He said there are more non-dispensing positions available in hospitals, finding a research job in industry can be very difficult as a PharmD b/c there is no PharmD specific job. I think if research is what you really want to do then you need to embrace academia, get a PhD, and secure an academic position after your residency at a university hospital.
     
  4. Unpokito5

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    I work for a clinical research company that does both clinical trial operations and consulting. We have a number of pharmacists working for us at many levels- clin. ops, business development, consulting, marketing, sales force therapeutics training. All of them have worked in research/academia prior to joining our company I also have the opportunity to travel to various hospitals around the country and there are some principle investigators that are PharmDs (all have done fellowships, etc) along with the Investigational Pharmacists.

    I'm starting pharmacy school in the fall with the intention of following the path of those above.
     
  5. firefighter9015

    firefighter9015 It's not THAT kind of study hour...
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    I work closely with several PharmDs who are clinical researchers. They are hire on as clinical pharmacist at the hosptial and then they take research questions and set up trials and such that will explore that. There is a lot of paperwork that must be done, since they do use human subjects. I also know a pharmacist who got his PhD who works with the clinical pharmacist to answer questions, it usually works out to where he and his lab will do the science with lab rats and such and then the pharmacist will take his info to the bedside and exlpore the question with human subjects.

    Either way you go some sort of post grad training will be required,be it a residency, followship or a PhD. Just keep on exploring your options and try to find current pharmacists in these areas to use as mentors for yourself.
     
  6. webbiest

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    Can someone who choses clinical research track work in a retail store?
     
  7. bacillus1

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    Huh? I don't understand, does your pharmacy school has a specific pathway for clinical research? If so, then yes you could still probably work in retail after that if you want.

    Usually pathways involve electives, but everyone still has to take the same required PharmD courses, regardless of a pathway. I guess one could say I'm following a "clinical research pathway" but that just means that I'm taking a few statistics courses and just took a clinical trials course, but I'm still doing all my main PharmD classes.
     
  8. firefighter9015

    firefighter9015 It's not THAT kind of study hour...
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    Yep.
     

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