What Do Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Do?

The U.S. pharmaceutical industry accounts for 40% of global pharmaceutical sales. Pharmaceutical research has improved the quality of millions of Americans. People are living longer lives, thanks to pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Many people are familiar with pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Novartis. The inner workings of pharmaceutical work are generally less understood by the public.

What Do Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Do?

The pharmaceutical manufacturing process isn’t the first step. Molecular biologists must research new drug formulas. Specialized fields of scientists perform this work every day.


Pharmaceutical scientists work in special labs. They observe and document how different compounds interact with organisms that cause disease.

Scientists are also responsible for understanding how drugs interact with the human body. Not every drug is safe for use in humans.

Clinical Trials

Once the research is completed, there are clinical trials. Only then can a pharmaceutical manufacturer can begin producing pills.

Researchers follow a study plan that documents how animals and volunteers react. The Food and Drug Administration follows every step of the trial process.

Phase one establishes whether a drug is safe for human use. Dosage amounts are also established. During this initial phase, around 70% of drugs pass this initial phase, according to the FDA.

Phase two takes several months to a few years to complete. In this state, individuals who can use the drug are given experimental treatment.

Stage three measures the efficacy of the drug. It also looks for potential side effects.

Stage four involves a large study pool of patients. If the FDA approves the final stage, the product is ready for market.

Drug Manufacturing

Once a drug is FDA-approved, the drug manufacturer can begin producing the product. Basic steps included in drug manufacturing include milling, granulation, coating, and tablet pressing.

Milling breaks the active and non-active ingredients down. The body can break down and absorb the final fine particles.

Granulation can be thought of as the opposite process as milling. Granulation turns a fine powder into small granules.

Mass production can be achieved through the process of continuous manufacturing. Special feeders are used by drug manufacturers. The device accurately feeds powders of the same consistency.

The final step involves pressing the drug into tablets. The manufacturing of pharmaceutical drugs is incredibly precise. X-rays are often used to ensure that the quality and consistency of drugs are reaching the market.

Marketing and Distribution

Pharmaceutical manufacturing companies work with teams or other groups to market the new options. Ads are often used in magazines, newspapers, and TV shows. Established pharmaceutical companies usually have established distribution networks.

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