- Specialisation: Bachelor of Science majoring in Pharmacology and Physiology
A self-confessed science geek, as a teenager, Daniel Bacon enrolled in a science degree with no particular career in mind. That changed after he listened to pharmaceutical company clinical scientists and sales representatives speak at a Monash pharmacology department vocational session.
After graduating he took a job as a sales representative with Janssen, a Belgium-based research-focussed international drug company. A move into marketing, with an original plan to work in sales for a year, then do a Masters and go into clinical research. Instead Daniel fell in love with the commercial side of the pharmaceutical industry, moving into marketing, which combined ongoing learning with travel to overseas conferences, contact with research scientists and, eventually overseas postings to Belgium, Switzerland and the US.
Now as a senior business executive, he still draws on skills learned as an undergraduate, such as the ability to “read” clinical research results. “In marketing you need to be able to understand if the evidence from a study equips you to make a claim for your product.” Working towards saving lives for Daniel a highlight of pharmaceutical marketing work has been extended contact with patients for whom new drugs may be literally life-saving.
With so many advances over the last 20 years, pharmacology has been an exciting field to work in. Now based in Sydney and Daniel has had an exciting career so far in pharmaceutical marketing with many companies including Bausch + Lomb, Novartis and at AbbVie. Daniel is currently Head, Commercial Excellence at Amgen Australia
Daniel’s advice to undergraduates with an eye on his sort of job, is to “talk to someone in the industry”, accumulate some experience in marketing and sales, and – in contrast to him – do honours or an MBA.