Regulatory and Legal Health Careers
Regulatory and legal health careers make up a relatively unknown area of healthcare. But the roles – while varied and important – all involve working within a framework that aims to protect the public.
Studying for a Career in Law and HealthcareEducation varies tremendously and can range from a science undergraduate degree with postgraduate legal studies, or a traditional law degree with a focus on healthcare. In very rare instances, some of these roles can go to exceptional candidates who have significant work experience in related areas and can show strong potential.
Salaries in Regulatory and Legal Health CareersSalaries in most careers that fall under this realm tend to be very high, which reflects the significant responsibility of the roles. For those with experience, the compensation can clear six figures although most start at a third to half of that and steadily work their way up. In particular, these roles work well for someone who wants to go into a health career that allows for progression up the job ladder.
Medical AdvisorMedical advisors usually work within pharmaceutical and medical device companies. They often have a doctorate degree in the specific therapeutic area of work for the company – for instance, oncology. Many are medical doctors while others come from the scientific research sector.
Such roles require you to be the source of expertise on scientific and legal requirements relating to a product or area. Often, you will liaise with the press or other policy-making organisation to contribute to knowledge networks and enhance the standing of your company. A polished presentation and excellent, diplomatic language and presentation skills are therefore mandatory for success in this type of role.
Working in Regulatory AffairsIf you think about every medication you take to improve your health, these have all been stringently tested and submitted for approval. Individuals interested in a career in regulatory affairs can work either government side, in-house for the pharmaceutical company or in third party contractors such as clinical research organisations.
The work is extremely detail-oriented, as one error can mean that an application for licensing approval is rejected. On the other side, if you are assessing applications, a missed error can have dire consequences for a patient if the drug is then approved.
You should be a person of logic and organisation who is very comfortable with huge volumes of data and paperwork. Those who work for the pharmaceutical sector writing and compiling applications for drug approval need a strategic mindset and a structured style of working.