Quality and validation roles dominate the pharmaceutical market

Stephen O'Brien 20.05.2011

The last few months have seen a strong increase in professional vacancies across most industries in Ireland in terms of pharmaceutical recruitment. However, the number of open permanent positions have not been as high as previously hoped. This can be explained to some extent by the fact that the flagship products of many companies are nearing the expiration of their patents.

One example of such a product is the anti-thrombotic Pavlix, the top selling product in the BMS portfolio in recent years, generating in excess of €6 billion in revenue annually. The lack of new branded products means that many of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers potentially face substantial drops in profit in the coming years – indeed even if new products do emerge, it is highly unlikely that such drops in revenue will be offset by sales of new products.

When the possible loss of market share as a result of generic production of blockbuster drugs is considered, it is easy to understand why permanent recruitment has not increased by as much as was hoped in the pharmaceutical sector. One positive effect of this, however, is that a new focus on contracting has emerged. The rationale for this from an employer’s perspective is explained in detail here.

I have noted that the most frequently recruited-for positions in the field of life sciences have been in quality assurance and validation over the last 12 months. One constant in the industry is the fact that irrespective of supply and demand, quality and compliance standards are becoming increasingly stringent. Whether or not a company is expanding or contracting in size or headcount, the demand for a strong quality department will invariably remain the same. As a result of this, we have seen an upward trend in the number of QA and validation roles coming to market, and we foresee this trend continuing throughout 2011.

If you are a QA or validation specialist at any level and are interested in permanent and/or contract positions, please feel free to contact me to discuss current opportunities in strict confidence.


Stephen O'Brien's picture


Reg Affairs Specialist II
Senior Micro Analyst
Analytical Chemist