Life sciences may be defined as all of the sciences that work with organisms such as plants, animals and humans. The pharmaceutical industry can be seen as a subset of life sciences as findings in life science may be used to achieve innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. The objective of the pharmaceutical industry is to create medicines, drugs, potions, injections and tablets which cure illnesses, alleviate moods, and set right things that are going wrong physiologically and psychologically. Types of jobs in the pharmaceutical industry include chemists, biologists, chemical engineers, IT engineers, pharmacists and sales jobs, to name a few.
As of 2016, Myanmar only had four local pharmaceutical production units, meaning that job opportunities in pharmaceuticals in Myanmar are currently more aligned to the import, sales and distribution of drugs. Approximately 85% of the drug market in Myanmar is from imports, but at last check the market has been growing at 10% - 12% per annum, meaning that job opportunities are on the rise. Most of the drugs are imported from neighbouring countries such as Thailand, India and China. One the drugs arrive in Myanmar they need to be distributed throughout the country, normally from a warehouse. they may be distributed to hospitals, clinics and chemists throughout the land. This creates job opportunities in the logistics area as well as for warehouse manages and labourers and drivers to transport the drugs.
Sales is also a very large part of the pharmaceutical industry as the sales force needs to penetrate all parts of the country. Whether they be selling to hospitals, clinics or individuals a sales executive needs to know their products, the benefits of it, and be able to sell them as there is much competition in the pharmaceutical industry. Even though there are some generic names for certain drugs, companies brand them, and it is a pharmaceutical representative’s job to promote the brand.
Marketing is also a large part of the pharmaceutical industry as it is fair to say that western medicine can be considered somewhat new in Myanmar, meaning that the desired audience needs to be reached so that consumers are able to understand the benefits of such drugs, meaning that good marketing managers are also in high demand in the industry.
It may be said that due to the unprecedented economic growth that Myanmar is currently experiencing, individuals have a higher disposable income which gives them access to medicines which they may not have previously had. Adding to this, the government has relaxed restrictions on foreign investment, including in hospitals. It is now possible that foreign investors may own up to 70% of hospitals, which in turn introduces a larger selection of pharmaceuticals.
To obtain a job in pharmaceuticals depends on what you are seeking. Firstly there is the warehouse and distribution side. To work in logistics in a warehouse, good computer skills as well as a command of the English language is required as pharmaceuticals tends to be an international business with the main language spoken being English. To work as a driver or a labourer, a clean driver’s licence as well as physical strength and a tolerance for different weather conditions is expected as some of the work is outside.
Sales jobs in the pharmaceutical industry require excellent communication skills as well as an ability to develop rapport with clients which may include hospitals or chemists. A college degree is not necessarily a prerequisite, what is more important is an ability to meet targets, and represent the product.
To work as a doctor who is able to prescribe pharmaceuticals (either in a hospital or a clinic) many years of study as well as practical work as a medical intern. To work as a pharmacist, a college degree is also required. However to work in customer service in a chemist, where non prescription drugs and supplements are sold, a degree is not necessarily required but product knowledge and good presentation are essential.
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