Who employs pharmaceutical statisticians?
The pharmaceutical industry is made up of a wide range of companies. There are small companies and very large ones; local, national and international companies; some have manufacturing and marketing facilities, others concentrate solely on research and development. Most of these companies employ statisticians sometimes in very large groups of perhaps 20 or 30 statisticians, which can give very good opportunities for career progression.
In addition, there are Contract Research Organisations (CROs). These provide research and development services to pharmaceutical companies. For example, they often work in tandem with large manufacturing pharmaceutical companies to obtain product approval from regulatory authorities all round the world. In this sort of way, there have always been strong links between CROs and pharmaceutical companies, and these links have become even stronger in recent years. Statisticians working in CROs tend to have exposure to more therapeutic areas and styles of summarising data, but on the whole are less involved in major decisions than statisticians working within pharmaceutical companies themselves.
Finally, the regulatory authorities also employ their own statisticians, typically known as statistical assessors. They are responsible for scrutiny of the statistical content of submissions for regulatory approval of a drug after its development through all the stages of clinical trials.