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ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Real-world perspective on career of pharmaceutical physicians in India: A working report (2018)


1 Senior Resident (Pharmacology), RG Kar Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Global Clinical Development Manager, Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals, Holzkirchen, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep Lahiry,
RG Kar Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/picr.PICR_142_18

Background: Pharmaceutical physicians support drug development in various capacities and contribute tremendously to the healthcare system. However, there is lack of substantial information on career progression of pharmaceutical physicians in India. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional survey involved distribution of a questionnaire via internet, to be self-administered and returned electronically from March 1, 2018, to May 31, 2018 (3 months). Respondents were pharmaceutical physicians from India. Results: Of the 410 surveyed across 32 specialties, 197 completed responses (48%) were analyzed. Top physician specialty noted was Pharmacology. Medical Advisors constituted bulk responders. Oncology and Medical Affairs were the preferred therapeutic segment and portfolio, respectively. Medical affairs also recorded the highest physician recruitment and retention figures. Majority cited a need for Pharmaceutical Medicine as a specialty curriculum in India. ‘MBA’ was perceived to be nonenabling for entry-level hires; sensitization through ‘industry apprenticeship’ was highly recommended in this regard. Better work–life balance and aversion to clinical work were top reasons for physician influx in the industry. Important challenges at workplace included diversified work and difficult colleagues. Work-related issues were a common basis for most job attritions. Annual compensation figures ranged from INR 10–20 Lakhs (at entry-level) to INR 30–40 Lakhs (at senior-manager level); however, salary dissatisfaction was prevalent (58%). Lack of information and aversion to corporate work culture were top reasons for physician hesitancy when considering career options in the pharmaceutical industry. Conclusion: A career in pharmaceutical medicine has tremendous scope for young medical graduates. One should thoroughly explore such career option and inculcate a learner-centric approach.
    
 

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