Viewpoint: Looking for a job? Consider USPHS Commissioned Corps and FDA

August 20, 2007

The Food & Drug Administration offers many job opportunities for pharmacists, from working for the Office of Generic Drugs to reviewing new drug applications

Keypoints:

The USPHS consists of job opportunities for pharmacists in the Indian Health Service (IHS), Bureau of Prisons (BOP), FDA, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and several other organizations. There are approximately 6,000 Commissioned Corps officers across the United States.

Pharmacists also play an important role in the Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology (OSE). The mission of the OSE is to evaluate drug risks and promote the safe use of drugs by the American people. One way the OSE fulfills its mission is by reviewing, evaluating, interpreting, analyzing, and abstracting pertinent adverse drug reaction reports within the Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS). Pharmacists, with their clinical knowledge, play a vital role in fulfilling this mission.

Pharmacy officers also play a key role in the Office of Generic Drugs (OGD). A generic drug may be identical or bioequivalent to a brand-name drug. Although generic drugs have the same active ingredient(s) as their branded counterparts, they are typically sold at substantial discounts from the branded price. Pharmacists in the OGD have an integral role in ensuring that only safe, effective, high-quality, and equivalent generic drug products are approved for use by the healthcare community and consumers.

The FDA provides many opportunities for pharmacists to use their knowledge and experience. We would encourage pharmacists to gain experience working at the FDA and establish a long-term career with the USPHS. For more information on pharmacist opportunities within the FDA, please visit the following Web site: http://www.fda.gov/. For more information on opportunities with the USPHS, please visit http://www.usphs.gov/.

WILLIAM BENDER is senior regulatory project manager in the Division of Psychiatric Products. SANDEEP SAINI is senior safety project manager in the same division. DEVVRAT PATEL is senior regulatory review officer in the Office of Generic Drugs. All three authors work at the FDA.