Pharmaceutical jobs belong in the healthcare industry, a fast growing industry. An aging population and new developments in diagnosis and treatment (leading to increased use of medication) are the main factors leading this growth.
The pharmaceutical industry itself is a big part of this growth story. In addition to bringing out a steady stream of innovative products and equipment, the industry also gets these to the notice of healthcare professionals through their network of medical representatives.
We start our discussion of pharmaceutical jobs with a look at the medical representative.
The Medical Representative. The medical representative sells by educating doctors about the latest in treatment. Good medical representatives can save many hours of a doctor’s time (spent otherwise for keeping up with developments in the field of treatment). This is an essential task as new medications with greater effectiveness are constantly being developed.
The representative explains to the doctor how the medications work, and how they are an improvement over existing treatments. The representative receives intensive training that equips the person with product knowledge and sales skills. They also accompany experienced representatives to learn effective practices.
Thereafter, they have to fix appointments with GPs, get to the GPs during the short time they are free, explain things clearly in the little time available and meet their targets regarding sales calls and sales.
The Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry – ABPI – conducts exams, and has also laid down a code of conduct. They act as the governing body of the industry and attend to complaints about false claims about medicines, and any malpractices or misbehavior on the part of representatives and others in the field.
Product Managers. A product manager is a marketing specialist who plans the marketing campaign for a product and keeps track of the campaign results. Product managers decide how to make convincing presentations with clinical evidence and other materials. They arrange to produce the sales literature for a product and continuously monitor the impact the literature, and the campaign in general, are producing.
Sales Managers. Sales managers, former medical representatives themselves, lead a team of medical representatives. It is their responsibility to train and motivate the representatives for maximum effectiveness.
Regulatory Affairs. The pharmaceutical industry is governed by numerous regulations. Their sales campaigns need to be approved – from permission to sell a drug for a particular use to what they can include in their sales literature. A great deal of procedures and processes are involved in getting needed approvals. Going after these formalities has become a full time role for persons with an eye for detail and familiarity with legalese.
Other Pharmaceutical Jobs. The emphasis above has been on sales related pharmaceutical jobs. Actually, pharmaceutical companies need pharmacists, clinical researchers, HR managers, and other technical and non-technical persons to run their operations.
Pharmaceutical companies spend heavy sums to discover new drugs, and then to conduct clinical trials in a phased manner till the drug is finally approved by the Federal Drug Administration for marketing.
People with required training and experience are needed to attend to all these operational aspects and many pharmaceutical jobs are available in non-sales areas. Both sales and non-sales people can expect good pay in the pharmaceutical industry.