What do pharma companies do?

Pharmaceutical companies are ubiquitous; they’re the big pharma wheel that keeps churning up pills, drugs and medications to swoop down on unsuspecting humans. But if you want to wrap your pill consuming brain around what these companies do — let me be your guide.

The Basics – What are pharmaceuticals?

Before we get into the juicy bits of what pharma companies actually do, how about a quick primer on the term “pharmaceutical”?

At its simplest: A pharmaceutical is any medication or substance designed for medical use. From Tylenol to insulin shots, everything falls under this umbrella.

Where things start getting interesting though, is when you consider all of the steps involved in turning science experiments into something people can swallow.

Some popular general terms used by professionals who work with pharmaceuticals include:
– Drug Development
– Clinical Trials
– Side-effects (yep! Those pesky little buggers!)

If you know these general terms already then congratulations because you’re already one step ahead!

Putting it Together – How do Pharma Companies make Medications?

Pharmaceutical industry has played an indisputable role in our healthcare system over time with their revolutionizing drug development process followed by distribution across several locations worldwide

When someone comes up with an idea for a new drug or treatment these days, more often than not it will involve a team at some kind of research organization privately funded by… surprise… pharmaceutical companies.

We could go through every twist and turn of the multiple steps necessary to develop a drug from scratch but let’s just skim through them; there’s a lot involved in creating an experimental medicine-

Research & Development aka R&D

This refers generally to initial lab-based scientific investigations—a.k.a “discovery phase”—that aim towards finding innovative molecules/compounds/NCE

Fun Fact: A lot of pharmaceutical companies spend huge stacks(money) on R&D not to mention that it is more expensive than a chocolate bar in Paris.

Preclinical Research

Following discovery, pre-clinical tests are run to determine whether the drug seems safe enough and actually works in animals before moving on to human trials. If it does show potential for human use and doesn’t appear harmful then the company winnows down its molecules or compounds further

Wonder why animal testing was so cheap? It turns out we humans do like eating meat! I can just imagine labs shouting at their pigs “Thank You For Your Service!!”

Clinical Trials

These clinical trials are conducted with small groups of people firstly, monitoring reactions (oops some side effects may pop up!) Biases may distort your data but legit scientific laboratories require such lines be crossed carefully under strict control… alas, even a hundred participants isn’t sufficient (sorry guys). Given they have passed multiple phases; larger diverse groups of individuals participate thereby being subjected to full fledged experimentation.

Do you know what sets us homo-sapiens apart from apes? We’re better lab rats!

FDA Approval

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzes all the submitted research(depending on country locations), including but not exclusively limited to results from reputable clinical trial sites running 100mph documented by thorough researchers for approval(just one formality)

Assuming everything goes well throughout these various stages there comes commercialization- where it converts into New Chemical Entity(NCE)and ultimately reaches pharmacies & health organisations worldwide

Please how about another fun fact?

Those who freakout over their Pills probably don’t realise they’re simply consuming NCE(sometimes twice daily); Because which annoying individual wants an ineffective pill?

What exactly do Pharma Companies DO?

Most pharmaceutical companies follow something resembling this process:

  1. Pfizer employs scientists who work within different teams to develop new drug candidates; they search for molecules that might work, create them in a lab, test them and then narrow the range down.
  2. Then comes up with aforementioned preclinical testing followed by full-fledged clinical trials once their research is promising enough
  3. All of this data is carefully documented!
  4. Once all regulatory requirements are ticked off including FDA approvals .. Production occurs!!
  5. Finally Pharma companies package these drugs & distribute to hospitals/clinics worldwide or through Pharmacies.

Why do pharma companies cost so much?

Research says it typically takes more than 10 years and an average of $2-3 billion dollars just to get one successful treatment launched

1.Most funding for medical research comes from private sources creating a market economy situation wherein pharmaceuticals themselves cover/exceed costs required to bring their treatments into public light.

And here’s another—

“As I’d said stuff on various addiction prevention programmes, perhaps every time someone received chemotherapy paid as apenalty but we’re not advocating for people dying! There’s no point shirking our duties towards proper healthcare monetarily.”

Medical Marketing & Advertising

Understandably wanting your product noticed within the flooded midst of other products from competition — yes they’ll advertise–& sometimes promoting in ways that could raise eyebrows (well everybody does it)

Diva Pharmaceutical marketing manager Anthony Smith argued- “The only way anyone will even try out any medication isn’t because they trust whatever miracle” He continued while twirling his pen—“But remember our dazzling commercials plastered everywhere.”

Please how about some common goodies used:
Informational Brochures(Can we also acknowledge they make great scribbling material)
Pamphlets(Don’t forget your grandma’s corner table!)
Free Samples!(Yum!)
Giving Freebies occasionally

But beware:

Who else thinks Advertisements should carry warnings? Please read another warning label — may require medication for higher blood pressure once you start reading side effects(of drugs!).


Creating a new drug to treat an illness is incredibly difficult work (like losing weight). It requires hundreds of millions of dollars and years upon years just to develop something that might help people, So how about we make their jobs easier—how? By not trying out every new fancy pill on the market that won’t probably be effective…
So there it is folks! A guide on what pharma companies do. Wasn’t so painful right? Now off we all go to pop some pills like bonbons.

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