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With the introduction of new biologic products, there’s been a clear rise in the demand for Quality Assurance professionals with Biologics experience. This growth within the market has led to a skills shortage, and as a result, QPs (Qualified Person) with this experience are becoming increasingly valuable. We spoke to Sarah Irvine, Senior Recruitment Consultant at Real Staffing, to find out more.

An overview of Biologics

In the last 20 years, there’s been a rise in the manufacturing of Biologics. Biologics are created through the use of a living organism, as opposed to chemical based drugs. Over the last ten years, we’ve seen a rise in the need for Quality Assurance professionals with Biologics experience. With the industry still relatively new, this is proving to be one of the most valuable industries for QPs to work in. By 2022, 52% of the top 100 pharma products’ sales value will come from Biologics.

The value of Biologics experience within Quality Assurance

Real Staffing’s Quality Assurance specialist Sarah discusses the skills shortage in more detail, “Being a Qualified Person is a skill set already in high demand. However, as the industry is moving more towards Biologics rather than chemical based products, having experience within Biologics is proving ever more coveted.”

There is a big challenge in gaining experience in Biologics; junior professionals struggle to enter the Biologics industry without gaining experience in a chemical environment first. Especially as it’s a common trend to see experienced QPs move to contract work in a chemical environment, instead of moving into Biologics once they’ve gained their experience as a QP.

How to establish a career in Biologics

To start working in Biologics, QPs are typically required to have experience in a sterile environment. In order to gain experience in Steriles, candidates may have to take a step down or a potential pay-cut (when compared to the average income of a contract QP) to gain experience in an organisation that will be able to support and train them in this dosage form. Sarah explains, “Within the Life Science industry there is a real lack of permanent QPs. The majority of QPs prefer to enter the contract market due to the financial reward and flexible working; this mixed with what is often perceived as more exciting project work makes contracting an inviting career to someone with experience”. However, a QP with Biologics can earn much higher salaries in the long run, if they take the time and potential pay cut to develop their experience in Biologics. “The majority of candidates that I speak with ideally want to gain experience in this dosage form, not only for the higher needs and salaries but also due to the need to keep up with a changing and adapting industry.”

If experienced QPs are looking to enter a new stage in their careers which could potentially create major future benefits, it could be a good time to consider a career move into Biologics at a less senior level, to increase the value of their skillsets. If you’d like to learn more about Biologics, or any other opportunities we have available, Get in touch with Sarah, where she can offer a consultative service, and personalised career advice.