Anyone sell drugs?

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  1. ohhh you meant LEGALLY! never mind then ...... just kidding :P
  2. Sales experience is obviously a MAJOR plus. Pfizer is probably the most prominant company you can work for, but in many parts of the country they are on a hiring freeze. I know all of my friends who are in pharm rep and sales have had to deal with several rounds of layoffs, hiring freezes, and the inability to advance in the last 2 years, or if they were working for a smaller company, Pfizer bought them out.
  3. HAHAHAHAH... wow that was a shocker... I wanted to see if anyone would fess up... would explain some of tpf-er's large handbag collections... hehe
  4. Did I ever tell you about the time I was sent to a Turkish prison...? j/k :P

    But seriously, good luck! You are obviously a great salesperson and will surely be successful in this new field.
  5. I have a 4 year college degree in the science field and i minored in sales/marketing, right now i am a registered deitition trying to get into pharmacy school and i eventually want to get into sales. I've taken a lot of pharmacology courses in order to have a better understanding of drug interactions, side effects, and the engineering and anatomy/physiology that goes behind it all. But i'd say having a strong science background isnt as important as knowing to to sell, sell, sell...

    My brother is a pharmaceutical rep some where in the bay area he has a master's degree in dietetics, he makes about 80k a year just as a pharm rep... its easy for him to sell since he knows all the doctors in multiple hospitals and nursing homes in california and hawaii and he works in the hospital as a clinical dietitian. Most of the successful pharm rep's that he knows works or have worked in the hospital.

    >>>Most important<<< Need 4 year degree and the ability to sell s**t to a very tough crowd of very educated customers (doctors and pharmacists) It's also very competitive..
  6. I looked in to it. It is highly competitive. This probably goes with out saying--But if you get an interview dress to impress. When I interviewed for Pfizer I got my hair and makeup done professionally. All the pharm reps out here look like movie stars. i think because it is so competitive. I did get the job, but turned it down because I also found out I was pregnant.
  7. Also.. Once you find a company to hire you the rest is up to hard work, great timing, and luck.
  8. I've never worked as a pharm rep, but having worked in a medical office that had multiple reps from different companies coming in weekly to peddle their goods and having become very good friends with some of them, I will share what I know.

    On hiring: most new hires have a BA or BS in something. Some have science degrees but many have marketing/communications/liberal arts/whatever. The only science you have to know is what pertains to the drug you are selling, it's not like you need the medical knowledge a doctor or nurse is going to have. They will teach you all of this and you will have promotional material and catchphrases to help you in your pitch. They look for friendly, good-looking, outgoing people who are easy to get along with. Much was made in the news about these companies hiring former college cheerleaders/pep squad members and I have met a few of those so if you have that background it may be a plus.

    Job stability: Like a lot of corporate jobs, this job is all about the numbers. If you don't make the numbers, you won't keep your job. The hard part is a lot of this is NOT in your hands. Some reps get stuck with really horrible products, usually expensive new drugs that have very similar generic or cheaper equivalents. Or products nobody's health insurance covers. I saw one company go through probably 4 reps in a 1 year period, all of these reps were very nice, good salespeople, one was a cheerleader, and were very loved by our office but we didn't prescribe their products and neither did anyone else, apparently. I became really good friends with 1 of those girls and she had already worked for 3 different companies and was like 25. She was so fed up with pharma she was going to pursue physician assistant. There are some reps I knew that have been with their companies 10-20 years, but they work for companies with a lot of different products and they have built close relationships with the big medical groups over the years. It is not easy to become one of these people, especially in today's world where there is less loyalty and health insurances are cutting costs and pushing generics. And yes, the pressure was still on them. Some people were so desperate to increase their numbers they sent friends and family members in to ask for a prescription for the drug whether they really had the problem or not.

    Have a thick skin: You have to have a VERY thick skin for this job. Doctors, nurses, and staff will be rude to you but you still have to be nice back to them. They will blow you off, tell you they only see reps certain days or certain hours, tell you your product is crap or that they won't prescribe it b/c no insurance covers it, tell you they won't talk to you unless you bring lunch for the office, call you incessantly for samples even though they only give out your samples and never write prescriptions, tell you how much they hated your company's previous rep, tell you they only prescribe your competitor's product, etc. And you have to just take all of it, you can talk up your product but you can't really argue with people.

    Drive all over town: You will probably have to cover a fairly large geographic region, depending how densely populated the area is. You may have to drive from one end of a county to another in a day, or cover multiple counties. This is definitely a job with a lot of driving, so if you don't like driving I wouldn't recommend it. You do get a company car and reimbursed for mileage at a lot of companies, so that is a plus and something to ask about.

    I don't want to discourage you, b/c pharm rep can be a really good job. You just have to realize that it is one where you will never be your own boss and your ass is on the line everyday since you live and die by the numbers. I think a lot of the younger people in it don't see it as a career anymore and just do it until they decide to go back to school or something else comes along. Most people don't like the uncertainty and you're always at risk unless your numbers are consistently stellar.
  9. ^ well said DreamingBeauty
  10. I agree - your post title says a lot about your understanding of sales - you've managed to get quite a few people to check out a post that otherwise could have languished.

    Drug sales certainly are big business and one that has, at least historically, been relatively immune to the vagarities of the economy. Selling is essentially selling, whether it's drugs or clothes. But even more than in most other retail positions, you will need to be able to learn absolutely everything about your drug (most reps focus on one drug or a very, very limited market segment). You'll need to have extensive understanding of it's mechanism of action, the ability to pick apart or defend research papers and communicate with professionals in the field.

    This is all achievable with work and training, but just so you know what you're getting into. Good luck on both your move and your job hunt!
  11. Most of you are talking about outside sales/field reps. Is that what you're looking for OP?

    The drug reps I've seen are inside/telephone sales; calling on pharmacies or doctor's offices and taking orders over the phone. No 'dressing to impress' required. I was in their offices for other reasons and never inquired about working there or if a degree was necessary.
  12. Lol @ the thread title, certainly got my attention!
  13. DH used to sell drugs...while he did have a scienc background it really wasn't necessary. Like everyone said he was trained for the products. He did say as far as sales go they are only going to hire attractive people. Take it how you want it but there was a certain look that companies wanted for the people promoting their products face to face. He no longer does it because they wanted him to cover a territory that was ridicuolously large and far. This job also had a lot of flexibility but with that accountability. Your numbers had to be good and no one would question to much else.
  14. The easiest way in is by knowing someone. Alot of positions are available for people within the company usually take them first. That is how I got to interview with one company. I got offered the position but something else came along so I did not end up taking it. Good luck!