All new medicines are thoroughly tested before they are marketed to ensure they are safe and effective for patients. Extensive clinical testing is undertaken to understand the efficacy of medicines and, very importantly, to identify potential side effects so that the incidence and impact of these can be assessed and compared with the potential benefit. The programme of clinical research must be carefully planned to ensure that not only the effectiveness of the new medicine is carefully monitored, but adverse effects are recorded and evaluated too.
Clinical trials are carried out in three phases which must all be completed before an application can be made to market a new medicine, for more information please see Clinical trials.
There are a variety of different roles available for doctors and scientists who are outgoing and enjoy working on their own initiative with lots of different people, there are also a number of other specialist roles in each area.
My job is a bit like [being] a detective, you are constantly looking at problems and ways to work them out.