The pharmaceutical industry finds, develops, makes, and sells pharmaceutical products or drugs for the purpose to heal them, cure them, or relieve the medical symptoms of a patient who needs their medication. Pharmaceutical firms can also deal in biotechnological or generic drugs and medical devices, or in specialized medications meant to target a single symptom. They can also work in the field of diagnosing diseases and can manufacture medicines that can fight against and cure certain diseases, as well as develop medicines that can make people more healthy by preventing or curing a disease when it is already present. Some pharmaceutical companies are involved in several sectors of the medical world.
Biotechnology has altered the way medical companies approach their products and businesses. With the aid of genetic engineering and other genetic approaches, pharmaceuticals can manipulate, create, and produce their own medicines from living organisms. This technique allows pharmaceuticals to produce specific proteins, viruses, and other organic materials that could possibly treat or prevent diseases. Many of these pharmaceuticals’ products are found on supermarket shelves and drugstore shelves around the world. As such, the profits of these pharmaceuticals companies continue to soar sky high. And at the same time, the public trust in these products grows, making the people want to patronize these products.
Another division of pharmaceuticals is the area of diagnostics and drug manufacture. Some pharmaceutical companies focus only on developing prescription drugs and medical devices; others provide support for diagnostic procedures and treatments in hospitals and clinics around the world. The pharmaceutical industry is an active participant of the medical community, funding academic research and development, and participating in medical societies. Some top pharma companies also manufacture medical devices such as pumps and intra-oral cameras for administering chemotherapy and other medications. There are also some companies that manufacture contact lenses and oral dentures.
Other areas in which pharmaceuticals influence the medical industry are the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Health’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA protects the consumer from harmful or unsafe prescription drugs and medical devices by regulating their production, advertising, and distribution. The FDA sets standards for the strength of prescription drugs, devices and foods, and determines which products and treatments may be labeled as safe for use. In addition to its work in the public’s eye, the FDA maintains the nation’s prescription drug regulations and collects fees from pharmaceutical companies if they fail to properly submit drugs for approval or for resubmission.
In the private sector, the pharmaceutical industry also serves the public with a wide variety of products ranging from foods to health supplements to medical devices to medical diagnostics. One of the most prominent industry groups, the Pharmaceutical Research Association, or PhRMA, is a independent professional organization that brings together pharmaceutical scientists and engineers. The group also publishes a highly regarded journal, the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Its mission is “to promote and advance the science and technology of pharmaceuticals.” While the association focuses its efforts on issues that impact the development of new pharmaceuticals, it does not control the flow of information about new drugs. Independent news sources provide up-to-date reports on new drugs and other topics of interest to the public.
Biotechnology is an area of specialization within the pharmaceutical industry that has been transforming the way that drugs are made and used for decades. Biotech companies are focused on using genetically altered organisms to create medicines and other pharmaceutical products that will fight against dangerous diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. A recent article in Forbes Magazine highlighted several important biotech companies including Genevie, AbbVie and Celera, as well as several other promising biotech companies.