For those looking for a potentially lucrative position within the area of pharmacy, pharmaceutical sales is an option. Interested individuals will not need to jump through the many hoops required by pharmacy schools, as a PharmD degree is not required in order to become a pharmaceutical sales representative.
While pharmacy school completion is not required in order to work as a pharmaceutical sales representative, natural science ability and some scientific training or background is supremely beneficial. Pharmaceutical sales representatives are tasked with educating physicians about new medications, the science behind them, and the evidence available regarding the drugs’ efficacy and potential side effects.
The typical educational requirement for a pharmaceutical sales representative is a bachelor’s degree. Some companies prefer individuals who have completed graduate course work. Most individuals will have taken courses in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, and organic chemistry. Non-science curriculum might include public speaking, finance, and courses emphasizing negotiating skills and techniques. Individuals are able to obtain a license through professional organizations, although this is not required.
In recent years, the market has become flooded with pharmaceutical sales representatives, and this has resulted in the declining availability of physician time. On average, a pharmaceutical sales representative has less than 10 minutes to speak with a physician, many times only half that time. In this short amount of time, the pharmaceutical sales representative must discuss a drug’s purpose and mode of action in addition to its advantages over other drugs on the market. Ultimately, it is the job of the pharmaceutical sales representative to convince physicians that his or her product is better and safer than the alternative(s) available on the market.
Pharmaceutical sales can be a fast-paced and rewarding occupation. For those who have an interest in how medications work and affect the human body, but who do not wish to become pharmacists, this can be a good alternative career choice.