phar·​ma | \ ˈfär-mə How to pronounce pharma (audio) \

Definition of pharma

: a pharmaceutical company also : large pharmaceutical companies as a group

Examples of pharma in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But such treatments continue to be pushed as part of what is already a $3.8 trillion domestic health care market—and hospitals, insurers, device makers and big pharma are scooping up the profits. Carolyn Barber, Scientific American, "COVID's Other Toll: Unnecessary Tests and Huge Hospital Bills," 24 Oct. 2020 But that doesn’t always sever their financially rewarding relationships with big pharma. Charles Piller, Science | AAAS, "Disgraced researchers can still reap drug industry payouts," 1 Oct. 2020 For nearly six decades, the burden of conducting this research has mostly fallen on big pharma. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "Why we don’t know if convalescent plasma works to treat Covid-19," 28 Aug. 2020 Just as Chinese Covid-19 vaccine developers look to other countries to host their late-stage trials, a major global pharma in the vaccine race added a Chinese partner last week. Jonathan Chan, STAT, "STAT China: Big news at Simcere, and a breakthrough designation for Legend Biotech," 11 Aug. 2020 Expect that point to be rammed home in the future when governments again turn their wrath on big pharma over high prices. The Economist, "Schumpeter The quest for a vaccine could restore faith in big pharma," 6 June 2020 Adam Schechter of LabCorp, headed Merck's global pharma and vaccine business from 2010 to 2018, and Brian Tyler of McKesson led its $28 billion European operations just prior to being named CEO. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "The year in leadership: Everything to know about the most recent crop of leaders to score top CEO jobs," 4 June 2020 Some Indian pharma companies even resorted to chartering private planes to airlift APIs from China. Priyali Sur, CNN, "How India conquered the pharma world with generic drugs, but still relies on China," 16 May 2020 No, he's headed to the conference with Wags and Taylor by his side to snag a face-to-face with a man named Shank who's about to leave a pharma company for the FDA. Kyle Fowle,, "Billions recap: Axe's new foe beats him at his own game," 11 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pharma.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pharma

1992, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pharma

short for pharmaceutical

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Time Traveler for pharma

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The first known use of pharma was in 1992

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Last Updated

9 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pharma.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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phar·​ma | \ ˈfär-mə How to pronounce pharma (audio) \

Medical Definition of pharma

: a pharmaceutical company But the rate at which pharmas have grown in size pales beside the acceleration of relevant scientific knowledge during the same period.Science, 13 Apr. 2001 also : large pharmaceutical companies as a group Another issue pharma will face is an even more cost-conscious consumer as a result of insurers continuing to pass on additional costs to their members. — Shaun Urban, Medical Marketing and Media, February 2011 The Medicare prescription drug benefit enacted in 2003, and scheduled to go into effect in 2006, promises a windfall for big pharma since it forbids the government from negotiating prices. — Marcia Angell, The New York Review of Books, 15 July 2004

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