Clinical Research Associates (CRA) serve a major role in the development of medicine. They are employees of pharmaceutical companies, and they work with a wide range of people in different positions. Without CRAs, pharmaceutical companies would have a difficult time ever having a new medicine researched and approved for sale on the market.
Most work done by a CRA is done in an office with a computer, telephone, and other office supplies. This job is primarily mental, as there is no physical labor aspect of the job. Work hours are usually Monday through Friday, but many CRAs travel for business. They may meet with other people involved in developing the particular medicine they are running trials for. They tend to work with other CRAs and they have a supervisor; or they may be a supervising CRA with lower level CRAs below them. Some CRAs have secretaries or office assistants as well. They often work relatively closely with doctors and nurses as they document the results of medicine trials. Clinical Research Associates are involved in the development of every single kind of medicine and medical equipment. The CRA position requires a Bachelor's degree and may even require a Master's degree.
Clinical Research Associates are primarily the behind-the-scenes people of the medicine world. However, their role is vital to the development and sales of medicines. CRAs are unrecognized by many, but, without them, the world of medicine would suffer dramatically. As a result, so would the general population.
Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Tasks
- Investigate cause, progress, life cycle, or mode of transmission of diseases or parasites.
- Evaluate effects of drugs, gases, pesticides, parasites, and microorganisms at various levels.
- Plan and direct studies to investigate human or animal disease, preventive methods, and treatments for disease.
- Conduct research to develop methodologies, instrumentation and procedures for medical application, analyzing data and presenting findings.
- Prepare and analyze organ, tissue and cell samples to identify toxicity, bacteria, or microorganisms, or to study cell structure.