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Whenever your doctor has prescribed medicine or you have bought an over-the-counter cold and flu remedy, you probably have not thought much about how the medicine was developed—you are mostly interested in feeling better. Although a pill may quickly make your aches or sniffles go away, it probably took scientists years to bring together the right combination of elements to design that pill. And it took many more years to prove, through extensive testing, that the pill was safe and effective. Bringing a new drug onto the market requires about 10 to 15 years and can cost more than $1.3 million. Because of this time and expense, and because of the powerful effect that drugs have on the body, pharmaceutical companies employ many different kinds of professionals to develop new products. Lab technicians, scientists, writers, researchers, pharmacists, medical doctors, and others work together throughout the development process. Because of all the different stages of drug research and development, these professionals hold degrees in a number of different areas, including biology, chemistry, engineering, biochemistry, pharmaceutical technology, life science, and biotechnology.
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