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An Overview of U.S. Drug Manufacturing

June 4, 2012


Companies in the drug manufacturing industry produce life-saving and life-improving drugs for millions of people around the world every year. In the United States, more than 1,000 companies manufacture pharmaceuticals, and many more companies are indirectly involved in the process. These firms include preparers of finished drugs, serums, vaccines, bulk chemicals, and diagnostic substances.

To develop new treatments, U.S. drug manufacturers allocate more funding for research and development (R&D) on a percentage basis than any other industry in the country. The R&D process for drugs is lengthy and involves careful testing, including three phases of human trials. After a new drug has been discovered, tested, and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it goes into mass production, with workers performing quality control over a highly automated process before the drug reaches the market.

About the Author:

An executive in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 25 years, Terry Herring currently works for San Antonio-based Mission Pharmacal Company as the President of Commercial Operations. Prior to this position, he served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of inVentiv Health.


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