Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > 2021 > 9 > Global regulatory workforce nearly 100K, says new report from RAPS, Elemed

Global regulatory workforce nearly 100K, says new report from RAPS, Elemed

Posted 15 September 2021 | By Zachary Brousseau 

Global regulatory workforce nearly 100K, says new report from RAPS, Elemed

Nearly 100,000 professionals around the world currently work in the field of regulatory affairs for healthcare products, such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and biotechnology products, including vaccines. This is according to a new joint report from RAPS and Elemed, a leading technical recruiter specializing in regulatory affairs.

The Global Regulatory Affairs Professionals Workforce report, previewed this week at the RAPS Convergence 2021 virtual conference, uses data from the online professional social media network LinkedIn, which boasts a database of 756 million professionals in more than 200 countries. The report comes during a critical time for healthcare sector workers and employers around the world.

“Regulatory professionals, whether they work for regulated healthcare companies, in academic research, for health authorities like FDA or the European Medicines Agency, or in other settings, are vital to promoting and protecting public health,” said RAPS Interim Executive Director Bill McMoil. “This report provides the best current picture of the size and health of the global regulatory profession.”

Data from the study show not only how many total regulatory professionals there are in the world, but also break the numbers down by geographic region, product sector, role, experience, job tenure, and other criteria. The data also examine where in the world regulatory professionals are most concentrated, the types of employers they work for, the top regulatory employers in each region, the percentage of professionals seeking new job opportunities, and more.

“Life sciences companies—from the largest global pharmaceutical manufacturers to small, innovative start-ups working toward the next big medical breakthrough—need skilled regulatory professionals to get products to the patients who need them, and ensure they are safe and effective,” said Elena Kyriacou, founder of the Zürich-based Elemed. “As this report shows, each region is a bit different, but regulatory expertise is highly valued around the world.”

In addition to workforce data, the report includes the results of an opinion survey of the global regulatory community on their top professional challenges and their perspectives on important current issues. Respondents answered questions on topics including career advancement, work-life balance, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the profession, and the level of diversity, equity, and inclusion in regulatory affairs. Data from respondents in Asia, Europe, and North America—the three top regions for regulatory professionals, according to the LinkedIn data—are summarized in the report.
 

Following are some select key data points from the Global Regulatory Affairs Professionals Workforce report:

  • There are 98,246 regulatory professionals around the world.
  • The highest concentration of regulatory professionals is in Europe with 34,852, followed by North America with 30,417, and Asia with 24,637.
  • There are nearly 28,000 regulatory professionals in the US alone.
  • The largest portion of regulatory professionals work in the pharmaceutical sector, which represents 65% of the global workforce, while 24% work with medical devices, and 11% are in biotechnology.
  • The US is the most diversified region with respect to product sector, with the portion of the US regulatory workforce in pharmaceuticals, medical devices and biotech coming in at 44%, 35%, and 20% respectively.
  • Around the world, nearly half of regulatory professionals work for large companies (those with more than 5,000 employees): 49% in North America, and 47% in both Europe and Asia.
  • There was some variation by region on job mobility. In Asia, 56% have been in their current jobs for two years or more, but 20% indicate on LinkedIn that they are open to being contacted about new opportunities. In Europe, the data show 52% at 2+ years on the job, and 10% “open to work.” Within North America, the same data for US regulatory professionals is 53% and just 7%, and 51% and 14% for those in Canada.
  • The level of concern over COVID-19 varied by region as 68% of respondents in Asia, 48% in North America, and 42% in Europe, expressed concern about its economic impact on the profession.
  • Those concerned about the ability of the profession to operate effectively in the wake of COVID-19 was 52% in Asia, 34% in North America, and 37% in Europe.
  • Across the globe, respondents rated the profession highly on its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). 94% of professionals in Asia rated the field favorably or very favorably on DEI, compared with 77% in Europe and 71% in North America.
  • Keeping up with regulatory changes ranked in the top two professional challenges for respondents in all three of the major regions, coming in first for professionals in Europe and North America, where 50% and 45% respectively ranked it most important.
  • 39% of respondents in Asia said advancing their careers was their top challenge, followed by keeping up with regulatory changes at 35%.
The Global Regulatory Affairs Professionals Workforce report is available for free and can be downloaded at www.raps.org/2021WorkforceReport.

 

© 2021 Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.

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