According to FDA reports, from 2004 to 2011 the U.S. encountered 1,734 drug recalls, 91 of which were Class I with the likelihood of causing the most damage to a person’s health or even death (Gann, 2012). Some of the reasons for these drug recalls include product mislabeling, incorrect dosages, contamination, and the trigger of adverse side effects. These risk factors have created a demand for U.S. drug safety workers in 2016 for the following top drug safety jobs.
Top 5 Drug Safety Jobs
Drug Safety Medical Information Specialist
– Job Description: The scope of this job involves gathering, reviewing, and releasing reports and concerns of adverse events for drugs or products that are experimental or on the market. A drug safety medical information specialist examines drug information and safety, codes events using the MedDRA dictionary, and monitors reconciliation reports and compliance.
– Job Requirements: The education required is a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy or Registered Nursing. The required experience ranges from zero to two years for level I, two to five years for level II, and five to eight years for level III.
– Pay: Depending on the level that ranges from I to IV, the median U.S. salary for this job is between $61,780 to $112,961 according to the website www.salary.com.
Clinical Research Associate
– Job Description: This main role of this top drug safety job is to oversee the development of drugs through clinical trials. Specific duties include planning study site tasks; ordering supplies; traveling to clinical trial sites to monitor, collect, report adverse drug reactions, and summarize clinical data; inputting data into case report forms (CRFs); and presenting data at team meetings.
– Job Requirements: Entry level positions require an undergraduate degree in health or life sciences or a nursing degree and two years of clinical research experience.
– Pay: The median U.S. salary is $61,000 as of January 2016 according to http://www.payscale.com.
Pharmacovigilance Safety Scientist
– Job Description: A pharmacovigilance safety scientist also has the duties of analyzing, processing, and submitting adverse event reports of drugs and other products. Further roles involve inspecting local labeling and reporting information into the global safety database, coding events using MedDRA and WHO-Drug dictionaries, and presenting drug safety information at meetings.
– Job Requirements: This job requires a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy, nursing, or other healthcare-related field and typically around three to four years of pharmacovigilance or clinical experience.
– Pay: The average American salary for a senior pharmacovigilance safety scientist is $116,000 annually or $56/hr according to the website www.careerbliss.com. Current companies hiring include Dalichi Sankyo, Inc (headquartered in NJ), AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, and Merimack Pharmaceuticals.
Pharmaceutical (Medicinal) Chemist
– Job Description: A pharmaceutical chemist has the duties of conducting analysis and QC check of drug products, formulating investigation reports for product complaints, and preparing drug packaging and labeling audits.
– Job Requirements: The educational and experience requirements include a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with five years of experience, a Master’s degree of Science with three years of experience, or a PhD in Chemistry with one year of experience.
– Pay: As of January 2016, the median annual salary for a Medicinal Chemist is $86,176 according to www.payscale.com. Hiring companies include Vanda, Medix, and Pharmatek Laboratories.
Global Patient Safety Physician
– Job Description: This drug safety job involves the following responsibilities:
1. Evaluating safety information and adverse events of experimental and marketed drug products through risk management.
2. Producing periodic Benefit/Risk Evaluation Reports.
3. Offering medical expertise and evaluation.
4. Mentoring and training patient safety staff.
5. Implementing and proposing drug safety strategies.
6. Managing signal detection of drug safety by analyzing trends.
7. Engaging in medical input to control label updates.
– Job Requirements: To become a Global Patient Safety Physician, one must possess a medical degree (MBBS or MD). Two years of clinical experience are required for entry level positions, while seven or more years of experience are required for director level positions.
– Pay: The average annual pay for this position is $61,000 according to http://www.indeed.com/.
It is important to note the necessary skills and strengths that will help individuals succeed on all of these top drug safety jobs. Important skills include analytical, problem-solving, oral and written communication, presentation, organizational (setting priorities), multitasking, and leadership skills; understanding of FDA regulations, proficiency in clinical and safety databases, and the ability to perform quality assurance audits. Special strengths include integrity, initiative, accountability, decisiveness, and the ability to meet short deadlines and work under pressure.
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