By: Claire Wilson and Donagh Fitzgerald. Last Updated: April 2022

There are over 2 million LinkedIn groups – are you using them to your advantage in your pharmaceutical manufacturing career?

Most people know about the benefits of LinkedIn – the social network for professional networking. But all too often, people just connect with individuals and forget about the wider potential of LinkedIn… groups.

Joining a few select industry-related groups and being an active member in them can be a great way to progress a career you’re already in or help grow your confidence and visibility in an industry you’re hoping to move into.

The Benefits of Joining LinkedIn Groups

There are some undeniable benefits of joining industry LinkedIn groups:

  • You can keep up to date with industry news
  • You are surrounding yourself with professionals of the industry and can learn from their knowledge and expertise
  • You can participate in discussions – seeing different points of view on the same topic is a great way to challenge your thinking and broaden your ideas
  • You can send connection requests to anyone in the same group as you – this is a great way to make new direct industry connections (you can select the group when sending your request, making someone much more likely to accept)
  • You can also send direct messages to other group members – obviously be very careful not to spam your fellow group members but you can use this as a way to reach out to other industry professionals

The one word of warning we would give you before joining a LinkedIn group is to be aware of who set it up and what the purpose is.

You probably want to avoid groups that allow companies or individuals to excessively sell or self-promote to group members.
So now you know the benefits of joining groups, where do you start?

We’ve compiled a list of excellent and currently active LinkedIn groups to get you started in 2020. Most require you to request to join and to be approved by a group moderator.

We’re not suggesting you blindly join them all and then do nothing more – pick a few that are of particular interest and play an active role within them. Make 2020 your year of professional networking!

General Pharmaceutical Industry LinkedIn Groups

1. Professionals in the Pharmaceutical and Biotech Industry

Number of Members: 203,600+ members

Group Description (as written by them): For professionals working in or supporting the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. The Professionals in the Pharmaceutical and Biotech Industry (PPBI) LinkedIn Group offers a place to network with over 200K like-minded members, participate in discussions and stay up to date on the latest industry news.

Why This Group Made our List: This is one of the biggest and most relevant groups on LinkedIn. Becoming a member allows you to connect to a large group of professionals from all around the world and view a wide selection of content.

2. FiercePharma: A Network of Pharmaceutical Professionals

Number of Members: 42,100+ members

Group Created: May 2013

Group Description (as written by them): Every business day, FiercePharma updates pharmaceutical executives on pharma company news & earnings, FDA regulations, drug safety, generic drug companies, and more. Beyond the news of the day, our editors discuss the top industry trends and topics with in-depth features on industry leaders and market trends.

Why This Group Made our List: Fierce Pharma is a standalone industry publication – this group’s members share a large number of extremely diverse articles with each other.

3. Pharmaceutical Professionals Worldwide

Number of Members: 26,500+ members

Group Created: October 2010

Group Description (as written by them): This group is for pharmaceutical professionals who can discuss, share and network with other professionals from the pharma industry across the globe.

Why This Group Made our List: This group shares content regularly, but be mindful that it’s covering more than just manufacturing.

4. Pharmaceutical Discussion Group

Number of Members: 20,300+ members

Group Created: October 2007

Group Description (as written by them): An egalitarian ‘speak-out’ lounge for all pharmaceutical professionals & public health stakeholders.

Why This Group Made our List:  Another group with a wide, varied and sizeable audience.

5. Pharmaceutical Microbiology

Number of Members: 37,900+ members

Group Created: June 2009

Group Description (as written by them): Pharmaceutical Microbiology: the aim of this group is to provide a topical overview of pharmaceutical microbiology, bacteriology, contamination control, clean rooms, technology; as well as GMP, quality control, quality assurance; and topics relating to pharmaceutical processing and manufacturing, medical devices, cosmetic, food and healthcare issues.

Why This Group Made our List: We could have considered this group for our ‘niche’ section but the discussion of pharmaceutical microbiology is framed by its impact across the whole manufacturing process. The group’s owner does well to keep the group informed with new content and keep postings within the niche.

6. BioSpace Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Professionals Group

Number of Members: 22,600+ members

Group Created: June 2008

Group Description (as written by them): The BioSpace Group provides pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device professionals with a forum to connect and share industry information and trends, cutting-edge research and technology, and business and employment opportunities.

Why This Group Made our List: BioSpace describes itself as “the leading online source for biotechnology jobs, breaking industry news and expert analysis”. They have a very respectable sized group with a focus on biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. It’s not a manufacturing specialist group but still one to consider.

7. Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology Professionals

Number of Members: 24,100+ members

Group Created: November 2008

Group Description (as written by them): We are one of the largest groups on LinkedIn and by far the largest LI group in Biotech, Pharma, HealthCare, Medical, and Life Science. We welcome folk in diagnostics, the medical device area, clinical trials, research, QA, academics, writers, job hunters, students, recruiters, and anyone else interested in our field.

Why This Group Made our List: Potentially slightly broader in scope than some of our other groups, this opens up professionals from related but distinctly different industries as contacts.

8. Biotech & Pharma Professionals

Number of Members: 69,700+ members

Group Created: May 2008

Group Description (as written by them): Biotechnology is the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make products, or “any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use.

The pharmaceutical industry develops, produces, and markets drugs or pharmaceuticals for use as medications. Pharmaceutical companies may deal with generic or brand medications and medical devices.

They are subject to a variety of laws and regulations that govern the patenting, testing, safety, efficacy and marketing of drugs.

Why This Group Made our List: One of the bigger groups on our list and one that reaches out to a wide variety of professionals across pharma and biotech industries. For quantity as well as a diversity of members, this group is worth considering.

9. PDA – Parenteral Drug Association

Number of Members: 43,900+ members

Group Created: April 2008

Group Description (as written by them): The purpose of this group is to share information relevant to PDA Members. Members of the group are expected to share information or to ask questions.

Why This Group Made our List: The PDA is a well-respected industry body, this group is active in posting content on a diverse range of relevant topics. PDA employees do well to keep this group active and consider interesting content.

10. Pharma IQ – Pharmaceuticals Biotech & Life Science Network

Number of Members: 29,400+ members

Group Created: February 2010

Group Description (as written by them): The official Linked In group for, the premier online network for the pharmaceutical & biotech industry. Whether you are involved in clinical, preclinical, regulatory, logistics or manufacturing you can network, discuss and share ideas with your peers.

Why This Group Made our List: Pharma IQ describes itself as “an international online community focusing on providing pharmaceutical professionals with knowledge, information, and articles.” This group is active and is sharing articles from a range of sources, not just from Pharma IQ.

11. Pharmaceutical Jobs Biotech Life Science Healthcare Pharma & Medical Devices Careers HR Recruitment

Number of Members: 483,100+ members

Group Created: July 2009

Group Description (as written by them): If you are actively looking for a new job in the pharmaceutical/healthcare sector or would like to develop business relationships with other professionals in the industry, then this group should be perfect for you.

Why This Group Made our List: The biggest of all of the groups discussed here. While the focus is on recruitment, there is a strong sense of developing business relationships within this group.

As we mentioned previously, being in the same group as someone else gives you a legitimate reason to connect personally but also allows you to message them directly. This group could increase your potential network by over 380,000 industry professionals.

What a focus on recruitment also does is attract recruiters to join – if you’re looking for a new job, this could be a great place to make some valuable job hunt connections (make sure your profile is making your intentions clear!).

12. Pharmaceutical / Biotech / Medical Devices: News, Career Management & Jobs

Number of Members: 11,100+ members

Group Created: September 2009

Group Description (as written by them): The primary purpose of this group is to be a discussion board on industry news and anything related to career management or job search in order to further the conversation between candidates and HR/Recruiters to strengthen understanding of how job search and career management issues impact all of the stakeholders.

In addition, group members are encouraged to share job leads and postings for the full range of professional-level technical, corporate, operations and management job functions in pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industries, as well as in industries that support them.

Why This Group Made our List: There’s a wide variety of articles posted in this group. One interesting feature is that group moderators restrict the posting of “free” articles or reports which actually require a user to “sign up” or give their email address to receive.

The aim of this is to keep content useful, relevant and open access for group members.

Niche Pharmaceutical LinkedIn Groups

13. Engineering Managers in Biotech/Pharma

Number of Members: 2,580+ members

Group Description (as written by them): This group has been created to help Engineering Managers in the healthcare sector (Biotech / Pharma / Medical Devices) network with each other and share information. There is no other group on Linkedin that is specifically for Managers in the engineering function. This group will appeal to Engineering Managers, Maintenance Managers, Senior Plant Engineers, Engineering Directors, Engineering Project Managers, Automation Managers etc.

Why This Group Made our List: Currently the only group on Linkedin that is specifically for Managers in the engineering sector within Pharma and Biotech.

14. The Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance Group (QA/QC)

Number of Members:  31,800+ members

Group Created: September 2008

Group Description (as written by them): Quality assurance, or QA for short, refers to planned and systematic processes that provide confidence in a product’s or service’s effectiveness. This group is dedicated to pharma QA and its relevant discussions.

We also provide insight on jobs & recruitment within the pharmaceutical industry.

Why This Group Made our List: A great example of a specialized, niche group. If this is already your area, you should definitely be getting involved. If it’s an area you’re looking to increase your knowledge of, this is a great place to start.

15. Rx&D – Biopharmaceutical, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Research and Development

Number of Members: 89,900+ members

Group Description (as written by them): This is the premier Linked In (“social”) networking group specifically for professionals working directly in the life sciences industry and academia; including but not limited to: research, development, scientific, technical, clinical and medical professionals across the Pharmaceutical, Biopharmaceutical and Biotechnology industries.

This is a community of R&D professionals who share common experiences, passions, interests, affiliations, and goals. This group will enable you to stay informed (emerging trends, career, new ventures, etc.) and keep in touch with people who share your interests.

Why This Group Made our List: Although the focus here is research and development rather than a manufacturing specialty, this is a big group that could provide useful insight to you and might offer you some additional content.

16. Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging

Number of Members: 16,900+ members

Group Description (as written by them): Network of Pharmaceutical and Medical Packaging professionals.

Why This Group Made our List: As niches go, this is pretty specific. If this is your area, or the area you’re looking to move into, this is a great source of specific information.

17. Analytical Pharmaceutical Chemistry/Microbiology

Number of Members: 13,900+ members

Group Created: February 2009

Group Description (as written by them): Open forum to post topics for discussion related to analytical chemistry/microbiology as regulated in cGMP compliant environments.

Why This Group Made our List: Obviously of most use if you are working in this specific area. With a clear focus on trying to develop discussion, this group provides a place to ask questions about this niche.

18. Quality Assurance, GMP, and ICH Guidelines

Number of Members: 75,200+ members

Group Created: December 2010

Group Description (as written by them): Quality assurance is a wide-ranging concept covering all matters that individually or collectively influence the quality of a product.

It is the totality of the arrangements made with the object of ensuring that pharmaceutical products are of the quality required for their intended use. Day by day need of Quality assurance and GMP is increasing due to USFDA, WHO etc. so here we can discuss it.

Why This Group Made our List: GMP, Q, and ICH guidelines impact everyone working in pharmaceutical manufacturing, this group will help to keep you up to date.

19. GMP/GDP Quality Management Documents and Training for Pharmaceutical Companies

Number of Members: 60,200+ members

Group Created: September 2011

Group Description (as written by them): This group will provide advice and support in identifying key documentation required for setting up a Pharmaceutical Quality System in the areas of GMP and GDP. This group will provide advice and access to documents and training on global pharmaceutical requirements in particular focusing on the ICH guidelines.

Why This Group Made our List: GMP and GDP guidelines impact everyone working in pharmaceutical manufacturing, this group will help to keep you up to date.

20. Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS)

Number of Members: 78,200+ members

Group Description (as written by them): The purpose for this group is to share health sector regulatory/compliance Q&A, knowledge/experience sharing, regulatory strategy/compliance solution benchmarking, and education/career advice with fellow RAPS LinkedIn Group members.

Why This Group Made our List: One final industry body group for our list – this time focusing on regulatory affairs and issues relevant to those professionals.

Finally, don’t forget to check out groups that have a more focused geographical appeal. If there’s one suitable for your location, they can be a great way to make more local contacts and increase your knowledge of the industry environment most applicable to you. Groups such as:

Asia-Pacific Pharmaceutical Industry Professionals

BioConnect Ireland

MA BioPharma Networking Group

About the Author

Image with Claire Wilison from GetReskilled Team

Claire Wilson

Content Marketing and Career Coaching

Claire runs GetReskilled’s Advanced Career Coaching Programme – our specially devised job hunting course that helps our trainees take that final step into employment by leading them through the job hunting process. She is extremely enthusiastic about helping people reach their final goal of employment in their new career path.

Claire has a BSc (Hons) in Medical Biology from Edinburgh University and spent 7 years working in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

Our Team

Donagh Fitzgerald

Head of Marketing & Product Development
Mechanical/Production Engineer

Donagh looks after the marketing and product development including the training and pedagogical elements of our programs and makes sure that all GetReskilled’s users can have a great online learning experience. Donagh has lived and worked in many countries including Ireland, America, the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. Donagh has also served as the Program Manager for the Farmleigh Fellowship based out of Singapore.

Donagh holds Degrees in Production Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from South East Technological University, Ireland.