Even at the start of the 21st century there are many diseases which cannot be cured by existing medicines and surgical treatment. For some there are treatments available, but they involve complicated combinations of medicines, or the medicines have side effects which discourage people from taking them.
So discovery and development of new medicines is still very important. Pharmaceutical companies in the UK employ thousands of people, 73,000 at the last count, including laboratory scientists, engineers, IT professionals, statisticians, doctors, pharmacists, marketing managers, medical representatives and many others.
To discover more about these career fields, choose an area to look at:
I studied chemistry, physics and maths A-levels and went on to do a 4 year MChem chemistry degree at Leeds University.