Preferred employer. Pharmaceutical industry employees appear to be determined to stay in their current position. Nearly 64% said it was unlikely
or very unlikely that they will change employment within the next year, an increase from the 57% reported in last year's survey.
If they were to make job changes, however, nearly 71% of respondents would prefer to work in private industry over any other
sector, including nonprofit agencies, academic institutions, or government.
Essential skills and knowledge. Participants weighed in on the importance of knowledge and skills in various areas (see Table V). At the top of the list
was knowledge of GMP- and GLP-related issues, with nearly 80% and 56%, respectively, rating these were very important. For
the first time, the survey asked respondents to indicate the importance to their work of the US Food and Drug Administration's
"Quality by Design" approach and process analytical technology (PAT) initiative. Seventy percent indicated that knowledge
of PAT was important or very important in their jobs and 80% said the same about FDA's Quality by Design strategy.
Table V: Importance of various skills in performing daily tasks.
FDA's continuing emphasis on its risk-based initiatives approach also is clearly influencing the pharmaceutical job environment.
The questionnaire asked employees to indicate their awareness of various regulatory initiatives and weigh the effects of these
initiatives on the manner in which they perform their jobs. For all three initiatives, there was an increase in the percentage
of respondents who indicated they were very aware of the initiatives, with a majority (57%) now indicating they are very aware
of FDA's CGMPs for the 21st Century guidance (see Table VI).
The most noticeable increase has been in the percentage of those stating that these initiatives have had a direct impact in
the way they perform their jobs. Although 21 CFR Part 11, Electronic Records and Signatures Rule does not appear to be having an increased affect, there is a significant
impact factor coming from FDA's (PAT) initiative and CGMPs guidance. Twenty-seven percent say PAT has changed the manner in
which they perform their jobs, compared to only 19% who said the same last year. And, 49% now say the same for the CGMP guidance,
compared to only 36% last year.
Table VI: Influence of regulatory guidelines (last year´s value in parentheses).
1. US Department of Labor and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics "Highlights of Women's Earnings in 2005," report 995, Sept.
2006, http://stats.bls.gov/., accessed Nov. 1, 2006.