While many pharmacists work in retail pharmacies, hospitals or managed care facilities, others work in the field of pharmaceutical research. While retail and clinical pharmacists dispense medications, perform health screenings and immunizations, and work one-on-one with patients, pharmaceutical scientists discover, develop, test and manufacture new drugs. They spend most of their time working in a laboratory, where work to create new or better ways to treat illnesses and diseases.
Before a drug can be approved for public use, it must undergo a series of studies and tests. Pharmaceutical researchers work with other scientists to oversee and perform clinical trials. With clinical trials, scientists can get an accurate understanding of how the drug works on the human body and interacts with other drugs. It can take 20 years after a drug is developed before it is released to doctors and drug stores.
There are many phases of the drug development process. Pharmaceutical scientists typically specialize in one specific area.
Some of these specific areas of practice include:
• Using natural or synthetic compounds to develop new drug therapies
• Finding new ways to utilize existing drugs to treat various diseases
• Identifying the most effective formula and dosage for specific drugs
• Improving the process in which pharmaceuticals are manufactured
• Advising government agencies on pharmaceutical development
• Studying how the human body reacts to medications
• Researching how diseases affect the body and the causes of certain diseases
With pharmaceutical research, clinical and retail pharmacists like Robert Lammle, an experienced pharmacist in Utah, can provide the proper treatment and care for their patients. Regardless of their area of expertise, all pharmacists work hard to help people get well and achieve optimal health.