United States is home to one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical industries in the world. With technology pushing research-based pharmacy to a new level, the need for effective management has increased more than ever. Healthcare institutions, clinics, pharmacy labs, bio-firms, and other organizations are seeking highly skilled pharmaceutical managers who can oversee the operations and management side of the business. Pharmacy management has evolved into a dynamic field that emphasizes the legal, regulatory, inventory, and marketing aspects of pharmaceuticals.
According to the Healthcare Commerce Media Corporation, the US Pharma market was expected to top $377 billion in 2014, which is an 11-13% growth rate. This growth rate in the industry reflects a positive employment outlook for individuals interested in becoming a part of pharmaceutical industry.
Pharmaceutical Management as an Academic Discipline
Pharmaceutical management is offered as a major by many colleges. Students can opt for this field of study typically at masters level. A few institutes offer similar areas of study such as pharmaceutical marketing with emphasis on management, or an MBA with majors in Pharma-management. The basic purpose of pharmaceutical management programs is to provide individuals with knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry, management skills, and prepare them for administrative and managerial careers ahead.
MBA in Pharmaceutical Management
An MBA is among the most sought-after business degrees across the globe. Many top ranking business schools are offering MBA degree programs with specialization in marketing, human resource, etc. Now it is possible to pursue an MBA in pharmaceutical management. This program is designed to equip students with a thorough understanding of business concepts, managerial skills, and specialized knowledge of pharmaceutical management.
The program will help students achieve management positions in the pharmaceutical industry. The curriculum will emphasize management aspects of the Pharma-industry, enabling students to understand the current issues faced by the industry and how to strategically tackle such issues.
During the first few semesters of the program, students will cover fundamental business theories and concepts. Courses such as accounting, business management principles, sales and marketing, human resource management, and supply chain management are covered. This phase of the program is geared towards building a strong base of business knowledge among students. Further in the program, the curriculum will focus on core areas of pharmaceutical management and organizations. Here are some of the areas covered in the program:
Managing the pharmaceutical sales organization
This course will provide students with in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical sales, marketing tools and tactics. Students will learn how to promote and use a consultative approach towards selling products in the pharmaceutical industry.
Pharmaceutical industry and structure
This course is designed to provide students with knowledge about the pharmaceutical industry. The course will highlight topics such as pricing and patents, licensing, market structure, mergers and acquisitions, FDA, and drug approval process.
Pharmaceutical marketing research
Students enrolled in this course will learn how to conduct market research. The course will examine the main methodologies used for research and development.
Pharmaceutical product management
This course will cover the real world challenged faced by the industry. Students will learn how to monitor performance of pharmaceutical firms, devise product development strategies, coordinate sales force, and position products.
Legal, regulatory, and ethical issues in the pharmaceutical industry
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the ethical and legal issues of the industry. Students will learn how drug marketing, research and healthcare reform takes place within the legal boundaries of the industry.
The program will also include case studies, assignments, research projects, and other activities that will emphasize skill development. Students must complete all the course components and earn a minimum number of credits. It typically takes two years to complete an MBA pharmaceutical management. Please remember that the curriculum may vary from college to college.
How to Enroll
To enroll in an MBA in pharmaceutical management, you must have a bachelor degree. It is not necessary to earn a bachelor degree in the same or similar field. You will also have to meet a minimum CGPA requirement which varies from school to school. Usually, a 2.5 CGPA is needed, along with letters of recommendation. Some schools may require all applicants to pass an admission test that will gauge their skill set and aptitude.
A number of colleges are offering online programs in this field. Since many students are unable to pursue advanced education due to employment and costs, colleges have started offering the degree online. An MBA Pharmaceutical management degree online will offer more flexibility and convenience. Students can study in their own free time. The costs are lower since there is no travelling or textbooks required. All students need is a computer and an internet connection. But remember that some schools do not offer the program 100% online. A few classes may need to be covered on-campus.
With a degree in pharmaceutical management, you can work as a pharmaceutical manager in various pharmacy companies and groups. Your job duties will usually include the following:
Provide sales information
Manage sales support activities
Manage budget proposals
Develop new strategies
Coordinate pharmaceutical production processes
The income level may vary. Factors such as state, employer, qualification, and skill can affect your income potential. Usually, individuals start off through internships in pharmaceutical companies and research centers. An internship can help provide individuals with career knowledge and skills.