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What Is a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative and How to Become One

What Does a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Do?

A Pharmaceutical Sales Representative sells medications to healthcare professionals and facilities on behalf of prescription drug companies. A central part of this job is to build relationships; over time, physicians become familiar with the representatives because they develop a rapport that facilitates the sale. Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives also give out information about the company they represent and the drugs they are promoting.

How to Become a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Formal education is not required for Pharmaceutical Sales Representative jobs, but many find optimal career success with a 2 or 4-year degree in business, marketing, health sciences or a related field. Employers may require that you earn the Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative (CNPR) certification, which is administered by the National Association of Pharmaceutical Sales Reps and certifies candidates to embark on a career in pharmaceutical sales.

What Are Career Objectives for Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives?

The primary career objective for a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative is to persuade a medical professional to buy the drug they are promoting and prescribe it to patients. Other career objectives for Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives include educating physicians about the medications, securing new clients, developing sales strategies, fostering strong professional relationships, and using data effectively to make sales decisions.

What Are the Benefits of Being a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative?

One of the most attractive aspects of being a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative is the benefits. As a pharmaceutical sales representative, you have flexibility and often can enjoy making your schedule and working the hours that best fit your preferences. Substantial income (which often includes bonuses), opportunities to influence patient lives, and travel opportunities are also among other benefits for this job.

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Job Description Sample

With this Pharmaceutical Sales Representative job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative role.

Job Summary

We are seeking a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative with a strong track record of account management and closing sales in the medical field to join our team. One of your main objectives will be to build relationships with primary care or specialized physicians to increase territory sales of our pharmaceutical products. Our ideal candidate is someone who can professionally represent our company in the field when following leads and engaging with external customers. You will also be expected to liaise with internal partners to help promote product implementation and brand strategy for our company.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Educate health care professionals or office decision-makers about pharmaceutical products
  • Effectively communicate the use, characteristics, and benefits of one or more medications
  • Foster relationships with customers
  • Collaborate with internal product promotions teams
  • Comply with relevant pharmaceutical sales laws and regulations

Requirements and Qualifications

  • BA/BS degree
  • 1+ years of proven sales experience
  • Familiar with the pharmaceutical industry
  • Excellent interpersonal, presentation, and negotiation skills
  • A team player with a professional and ethical mindset
  • Able to track and meet objectives and goals
  • Valid driver's license and reliable transportation