Building Your Career in the Buoyant Pharma & Biotech Sector

Posted Aug 21, 2016

The rapidly changing and evolving Irish Pharma and Biotech sectors will be top of the agenda on Thursday of this week at the ISPE-YP event in the Lighthouse Cinema in Dublin.

When you think of a career in the IT industry you associate it with flux, fast-paced opportunities, global teams,  online working, insecurity, start-ups and continuous change (markets, mergers, new products etc). These are not things you traditionally associate with the Pharmaceutical and Biotech sector, but more and more often now these are the issues that professionals in this sector have to adapt to.

What is driving this change?

The global drug and healthcare markets are changing rapidly with:

  • fewer blockbusters to finance “big Pharma”
  • Increasingly biotech companies are  bringing new products to market
  • Drug prices under pressure from government health organizations and generic drug manufacturers
  • large pharma companies with declining pipelines
  • the nature of illness changing as populations get older

In a 2013 paper on the pharma sector in Ireland,  the Department of finance reported that Irish subsidiaries are repositioning themselves in the global value chain as “strategic launch plants and multi-product plants”. The days of setting up a process or line and running it continuously with the same product for weeks or months or years are gone. In the Biopharma sector it is batch processing where process stages may last weeks or days and now with rapid change-overs.

What does that mean when thinking about your career?

The most important thing to remember when setting out your career is that it is YOUR career. If it isn’t happening the way you wanted or how you wanted then YOU need to change it. There are many people who can offer advice and help on your career, but you are the only one who can change it.

Don’t be afraid of change. Change is now the “steady-state” in most companies. Take advantage of this and change too. Get re-educated or retrained to increase and/or deepen your knowledge. Look outside of your department at other opportunities, people have multiple careers in their working life eg Chemist moving into senior Quality management moving onto HR director. Remember its YOUR career.

Registration for this weeks ISPE YP event is on eventbrite.