The Pharmaceutical industry has achieved worldwide prominence through research and development and work on new drugs, and spends a relatively high proportion of its funds on research and development compared with other industries. This industry has produced a variety of medicinal and other health-related products undreamed of by even the most imaginative apothecaries of the past. These drugs save the lives of millions of people from various diseases and permit many ill people to lead normal lives.
The pharmaceutical industry consists of about as many places of employment, located throughout the world. These include establishments that make pharmaceutical preparations or finished drugs; biological products, such as serums, bulk chemicals and botanicals used in making finished drugs; and diagnostic substances such as pregnancy and blood glucose kits. Nearly sixty percent of all jobs in the pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing industry are in large establishments employing more than half a million workers, and earnings are much higher than those in other manufacturing industries.
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Advances in biotechnology as well as information technology are also transforming drug discovery and development. Scientists within biotechnology have learned a great deal about both human and non-human genes, but the real work - translating that knowledge into both viable new drugs and non-drug therapies - is just beginning. Many new drugs are expected to be developed in the coming years. Where it once took 15 years to develop a new drug, advances in technology and the knowledge of how cells work have allowed researchers to shave years off that incubation period. New technology allows life scientists to test thousands of drug candidates in a single day.
Because so many of the products generated in the biotechnology industry and pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry are related to preventive or routine healthcare, rather than just illness, demand is expected to increase as the population expands. Even during fluctuating economic conditions, there will be a market for over-the-counter and prescription drugs, including the diagnostics used in hospitals, laboratories, and homes; the vaccines used routinely on infants and children; analgesics and other symptom-easing drugs; and antibiotics and miracle drugs for life-threatening conditions. The growing number of older people who will require more healthcare services will further stimulate demand - along with the growth of both public and private health insurance programs, which increasingly cover the cost of drugs and medicines.
Other factors expected to increase the demand for drugs include greater personal income, the rising health consciousness and expectations of the general public and a more industry-friendly regulatory environment that has streamlined the approval process for priority drugs - those the authorities worldwide conclude are potentially life-saving treatments.
As a result, the number of wage and salary jobs in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing is expected to increase by about twenty six percent over the 2004-14 periods, compared with fourteen percent for all industries combined. Specific needs exist for laboratory analysts and other scientists, as well as those with a science background to serve as pharmaceutical representatives.
Pharmaceutical Industry in Middle East
The Middle East pharmaceutical industry is entering a new era, with the development of infrastructure system and rapidly changing regulations. The industry is blessed with several advantages like high prevalence of diseases, huge population base and many more, reflecting bright prospects of growth in coming years. With these supportive factors, the pharmaceutical industry in the Middle East region is expected to outperform the pharmaceutical industry of other regions in near future.
According to a new analytical research study, the pharmaceutical market in the region is expected to grow at around eleven percent during 2010-2012. Presently, the market is characterized by major changes in regulation policies of every country. Anticipating the future growth, many private key players are investing heavily in the industry to get a pie of the chunk.
The report has found that the countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia and are currently dominating the pharmaceutical industry of the whole region. These countries have better position than others in terms of infrastructure and regulatory environment. It also found that the Middle East pharmaceutical industry is based on import, with most of the drugs and therapeutics are procured from overseas countries hold a majority share. The governments of respective countries are trying to increase their domestic production by investing heavily in the industry. Overall, the growth of the industry is expected to bolster in near future.
Pharmaceutical Industry in Egypt
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The Egyptian pharmaceuticals are considered the largest in the region with
regards to growth capacity and expansion during the coming five years compared to similar sectors in neighbouring countries. Growing expenditure in this sector reached LE 2.4 billion in 2009. This figure is expected to hit LE 4.24 billion in 2014 with an annual increase rate of twelve percent. Fixing the pharmaceuticals pricing policy shall be a great push for growth during the coming five years.
Medicines should be sold at reasonable prices and this in general will make generics the right choice as an alternative. Egyptian Pharmaceutical sector shall benefit from the availability of raw material manufactures which leads to reducing imports and costs carried by local pharmaceutical manufacturers. Governmental support of Direct Foreign Investment shall help in creating a strong pharmaceutical industry in Egypt. Pharmaceutical Sector in Egypt posses many strengths namely: expansion of local manufacturing, pharmaceutical exports exceeding market expectations, cheap labour, the need for reasonable price pharmaceuticals leading to local manufacturing of generics.
About thirty percent of all jobs in the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry are in professional and related occupations. These consist of computer specialists, biological, chemical and engineering technicians, biological and medical scientists, chemical and material scientists. There is a great deal of overlap in these occupations in the biotechnology industry as well - to include environmental, industrial and food biotechnology. Many clinical medical professionals such as medical doctors, registered nurses, public health specialists, epidemiologists, and physiologists also work in private industry, universities, hospitals and government laboratories working in applied research or product development directly related to both industries.
In addition, sales and marketing representatives as well as technical sales support workers often work with the customer, production, manufacturing, engineering and research and development departments in these industries to determine how products and services could be designed or modified to best suit the consumer's needs.
Overall growth in the pharmaceutical industry is predicted to grow twenty six percent between the years 2004-2014 -- well above the fourteen percent growths anticipated for all industries combined. Strong demand is anticipated for professional occupations - especially for the biological and medical scientists engaged in research and development, and computer specialists such as systems analysts and computer support specialists.
Scientists make up the largest block of professionals in the industry. Just some of those in demand include biologists and bacteriologists, physiologists, pharmacologists, zoologists, virologists, microbiologists and toxicologists. Additionally, the work of chemists in a wide range of sub specialities is key to drug development, as the role of technicians and engineers with specialized knowledge required to set up and maintain laboratory equipment used in testing, and to monitor and analyze results.
Some companies have merged to curb research and technological development costs. As processes are consolidated and become more efficient, growth in some industry positions such as a number of office support positions have been slowed. Competitive pressures and advancing technology will pressure companies to improve and update product designs more frequently and to optimize sales processes. As companies consolidate and grow in size, so do their marketing and sales departments. Despite substantial increases over the past years, sales forces at pharmaceutical firms should continue to experience growth. Strong growth is expected for business operations specialists' positions. Prospects will be best for those with the appropriate knowledge or technical expertise.
Expert Systems to Simulate Human Experience
The most recent addition to the circle of information systems is the expert system. Expert systems are associated with an area of research known as artificial intelligence. We introduced expert systems and artificial intelligence in the World of computers. Artificial intelligence is the ability of a computer to reason, to learn, to strive for self-improvement, and to simulate human sensory capabilities. Expert systems are computer-based systems that help managers resolve problems or make better decisions. It does this with a decidedly different twist. It is an interactive computer-based system that responds to questions, asks for clarification, makes recommendations, and generally helps the user in the decision-making process. In effect, working with an expert system is much like working directly with a human expert to solve a problem because the system mirrors the human thought process. It even uses information supplied by a real expert in a particular field such as medicine, taxes, or geology.
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An expert system applies to solve a particular problem, such as determining a patient's illness. Like management information systems and decision support systems, expert systems rely on factual knowledge, but expert systems also rely on heuristic knowledge such as intuition, judgment, and inferences. Both the factual knowledge and the heuristic rules of thumb are acquired from a domain expert, an expert in a particular field, such as jet engine repair, life insurance, or property assessment. The expert system uses this human-supplied knowledge to model the human taught process within a particular area of experience .Once completed, a knowledge-based system can approximate the logic of a well-informed human decision maker.
Expert Systems to Prescribe Medicine
Expert systems are computer applications that combine computer equipment, software, and specialized information to imitate expert human reasoning and advice. As a branch of artificial intelligence, expert systems provide discipline-specific advice and explanation to their users. While artificial intelligence is a broad field covering many aspects of computer-generated thought, expert systems are more narrowly focused. Typically, expert systems function best with specific activities or problems and a discrete database of digitized facts, rules, cases, and models. Expert systems are used widely in commercial and industrial settings, including medicine, finance, manufacturing, and sales.
As a software program, the expert system integrates a searching and sorting program with a knowledge database. The specific searching and sorting program for an expert system is known as the inference engine. The inference engine contains all the systematic processing rules and logic associated with the problem or task at hand. Mathematical probabilities often serve as the basis for many expert systems. The second component-the knowledge database-stores necessary factual, procedural, and experiential information representing expert knowledge. Through a procedure known as knowledge transfer, expertise (or those skills and knowledge that sustain a much better than average performance) passes from human expert to knowledge engineer. The knowledge engineer actually creates and structures the knowledge database by completing certain logical, physical, and psychosocial tasks. For this reason, expert systems are often referred to as knowledge-based information systems. By widely distributing human expertise through expert systems, businesses can realize benefits in consistency, accuracy, and reliability in problem-solving activities.
Businesses may or may not differentiate between a decision support system (DSS) and an expert system. Some consider each one, alternately, to be a subcategory of the other. Whether or not they are one in the same, closely related, or completely independent is frequently debated in trade and professional literature. Like expert systems, the DSS relies on computer hardware, software, and information to function effectively. The debatable distinction, however, between an expert system and a DSS seems to lie in their practical applications. Decision support systems are used most often in specific decision-making activities, while expert systems operate in the area of problem-solving activities. But this distinction may be blurry in practice, and therefore investigation of an expert system often implies research on DSS as well.
The systems accomplish each of these by applying rules and logic specified by the human expert during system creation or maintenance or determined by the system itself based on analysis of historical precedents. Instruction, in particular, emerges as a result of the expert system's justification system. Synthesizing feedback with various combinations of diagnostic, interpretative and predictive curriculum, the expert system can become a finely tuned personal tutor or a fully developed and standardized group class. Computer-aided instruction (CAI) thrives as a field of inquiry and development for businesses.