Survey Says...

Published on: 
Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology-09-02-2010, Volume 34, Issue 9

New data provide insight into pharma-industry professionals' daily lives.

Michelle Hoffman You've probably been getting a lot of requests to fill out surveys lately, including requests from us (but more on that later). You do know why, don't you? These are the months that journals set their editorial calendars, that trade-show organizers craft their programs, and that vendors design their advertising campaigns. They all want to know about you. The only people who probably don't get to know about your interests and careers are, well, you. So, I'll fill you in.

Recently, we obtained results from an independent survey of industry professionals who belong to some of the professional organizations and attend the large industry trade shows. The survey, conducted in July, was sent out to 34,247 people, 353 of which completed the entire survey. The following results reflect their responses.

More than half (53%) of the respondents come from conventional bio/pharmaceutical manufacturing companies. An additional 13% are consultants; 10.4% perform research and/or analytical services; 9.3% are in drug-delivery technology manufacturing; 5.4% work with ingredients, excipients, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and/or specialty chemicals; and the remainder are in education, government, architecture, engineering, or construction (see Figure 1). Twenty-one percent describe their job function as scientist, 20% as manager, 18% as director, and 13% as CEO or vice-president.


Figure 1

Twenty-seven percent are engaged in research and development (R&D), 22% in quality control/assurance or validation, 11% in technical or analytical services and support, 9% in marketing sales and management, 8% in production and manufacturing, and 6.5% are engaged in project management. The remaining respondents fall into engineering (5.4%), corporate management (4.3%), education, regulatory affairs, materials management/purchasing/procurement, and packaging.

On average, your companies earn revenues of $10 billion a year and spend $196 million on R&D. Thirty-six percent of you report that your companies are planning to expand and/or build new facilities in the coming year, and 48% of those say that expansions are planned in the United States; 19% say Western Europe, 8% say China; and 3% say India. Forty-three percent of respondents report that their company plans to sell products into the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries, and 35% say their companies plan to source materials from BRIC countries.

Of the 73% of you that are interested in receiving additional professional training, 37% are interested in learning more about topics related to quality assurance and control. Approximately the same percentage of respondents want to learn more about regulatory affairs. Thirty-four percent are interested in validation, and the same percentage want to increase their knowledge of process development.

This particular survey did not ask about your sex, but anyone who's attended a conference or trade show in this industry knows that it's overwhelmingly male. Other surveys indicate that about 75–80% of bio/pharmaceutical industry employees are male.

As for what you like to read and how, we are collecting those data now through the PharmTech reader-assessment survey. To get you the information you need when and how you need it, please take some time to fill us in. You can access the survey online at We look forward to learning even more about you.

Michelle Hoffman is editor-in-chief of Pharmaceutical Technology. Send your thoughts and story ideas to