View Full Version : anyone know anything about pharmaceutical sales??

11-27-2003, 07:00 PM
I currently taking biosci at the U of A and am interested in pharmaceutical sales. Just curious if anyone is/ knows someone in it, and what is required. Thanks.

11-27-2003, 07:06 PM
I am in association with alot of different drug companies through my work. Most drug reps have BSc's, and they usually don't like to hier people under the age of 25, because you are dealing with older, very successful people. Try companies such as Merck Frost, and Pfizer.

11-27-2003, 08:35 PM
that's what i figured. I'm thinking of switching to a Bsc in Pharmacology. At the rate i'm going I'll be 25 when i'm out. Make it sound like prison. lol. The advisor made pharm sales out as something a cars salesman could do. Just want to find something I will enjoy that's not in a lab. From what I hear it pays good and one gets to travel also.

11-27-2003, 09:51 PM
Its actually really odd there was a posting on this, I had a long conversation with a drug rep yesterday, as well as a nephrologist regarding them. It is not an overally well paying job, but you have a HUGE expence account and get to fly all over the world, and meet with very distingushed people. You work alot of long hours, but its not to fast paced alot of the time. Some doctors will treat you like salesman, while others will give you the time of day. You need to be very socialable, and be able to interact with people without any problems. I'd say its a very good job, and I say go for it!

11-27-2003, 11:23 PM
my lucky day i guess. Thanks though for your insight. What do you do if you don't mind me asking? The travelling part definetly sounds appealing. I had a friend who knew someone and he was always travelling different places around the world.

11-27-2003, 11:46 PM
Maybe you could invent something, like a mixture of viagra and speed?:thumbsup:

11-28-2003, 01:43 AM
Being a 'drug rep.' has both advantages and disadvantages. You usu. get a company car and a very large expense account. Your day usu. consists of going from clinic to clinic talking to doctors about your product. (This depends on what type of drug rep you are. There are family doctor drug reps and specialist drug reps.) I am assuming you will be a family doctor drug rep. You will usu. host a lunch at a medical clinic and in the afternoon you will go to more clinics. There are times you will need to host a drug dinner at a nice restaurant. You get to eat all the good foods. You usu. get 4 weeks holiday right when you start off and the longer you work the more holidays you get. I knew a drug rep. that was in the business for over 20yrs and his yearly holidays was something insane like 16weeks?! (I think it was 16 weeks, don't quote me, but it was an insane amount.) [advantage]

Before you even go off seeing doctors in the medical clinic, you have to go through quite a bit of training and studying to know your product. This is were a science background comes in handy since you will need to understand how the drug works, stats on the drug studies, side effects, etc... This training will take a bit of time. [disadvantage]

Now every drug company is different but they all usu treat their employees very well. They will send them off to Cuba, or Hawaii for 'training', etc. [advantage]

Now the one big thing that is not so great is that you sometimes have to deal with really bad doctors. Usually they are always busy and you come in when they are working and they give you 30sec. to tell them why your drug is the best thing since slice bread etc.. If you get a doctor on a bad day he can basically verbally abuse you and you still have to stand there and smile and take it when inside you want to take a club to his/her head. [big disadvantage] If you are able to tolerate this, and this is a big thing, then you should seriously look into being a drug rep.

Good luck! :thumbsup:

11-28-2003, 09:16 AM
Yea, red is pretty much right, except for most doctors will be nice to you, i know alot of them, and they're all very kind patient people. theres just the odd stuffy one (Watch out for those cadiologist ;) ) But other then that its great. I work for a place called the Institute of Health Economics, I'm noone espesially important, but I work with alot of these kind of people. Also, my best friends dad is a doctor, and I attend they're jornal club meeting, which are always hosted by the drug companies. Hopefully one day you'll be trying to sell these drugs to me ;) or at least thats the plan! Good luck pug

12-04-2003, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by Pacman
I'm a pharma rep with Eli Lilly www.lilly.com ....let me know if you have any questions or if I can help in any way.

As far as pay goes....I know lots of reps that make more than the doctors they visit on a daily basis and , believe it or not, many drug companies recieve job applications from docs.

As far as your advisor saying it's a job for a car salesman.....8 of the 12 people that I work with have either commerce/science/pharmacy degrees in combination with an MBA from a major school, the rest have have the same undergrad degree without a masters degree.......I can't remember the last time I bought a car from somebody with an MBA.

You guys should be doing some booming business soon with le Weekend. Damn you though, I applied with lilly, didn't get a response.

12-04-2003, 09:23 PM
Originally posted by Pacman
Cialis is my first sell, and the it's been getting a very positive response from the docs.

Did you get an interview with Lilly?
I have quite a few contacts with other companies, let me know if I can help.


Never even got a respnse back that they received the resume. I actually submitted it because an ex-coworker had a running buddy who worked for Lilly. Talked to her and she said it was ok to put her name down. This was back in August I think. I've just been wanting to get back into something science related (I've got a BSc in Chem) and since I did do sales before, it was a pretty good fit. Apparently the resume screener didn't think so.
After doing some thinking, I don't think sales would be my cup of tea, but I wouldn't mind finding more about the ins and outs of Lilly, or other such companies. There's got to be some use for someone with a BSc, sales/customer service and tech backgrounds (currently a programmer analyst).

12-04-2003, 09:53 PM
I'm really interested in this as a career field as well. I don't have any science background at all. I'm currently majoring in Economics and should graduate in about two years or so.

If sales experience is an asset I can cope with that, been in retail sales for over two and a half years and not planning to quite my job until I'm done school. So that will give me a good solid 4.5-5 years of sales experience.

Hopefully it all works out for everyone wanting to get into this field!

12-06-2003, 02:33 AM
Originally posted by Pacman
As far as pay goes....I know lots of reps that make more than the doctors they visit on a daily basis and , believe it or not, many drug companies recieve job applications from docs.

Are you sure about that? How much are you talking about? I know family doctors that only work part time (<20hrs/wk) and can still make over six figures a year. Do you have any numbers? I could believe that they receive job application from doctors but I think it's because the doctors are tired of dealing with all the sh*t they deal with day in and day out and just want something new, but who knows?

12-06-2003, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by Pacman
they end up walking out the door after taxes with 80k-100k/year.

So can a drug rep make more than 100k/year if they are in it for long enough? That's pretty good if it's true. How long would you need to be in the business before your pay gets to six figures?

12-07-2003, 06:54 PM
haha...theres no way that drug reps 'often' make more then doctors, let alone doctors applying to be them. Also, if the doctors you know are complaining, then they are in the wrong profession. I think if they hated it all that much, they wouldnt have made it through med school, and res in the first place. But, if it were a money issue, Id look down on those ppl for complaining. You dont become a doctor with money in mind, you do it cause you want to help ppl, or it interests you. Im sure as a drug rep, if you are making more then the doctors, then you have to work a hell of alot of hours. I just talked to a friend of mine yesterday, whos a doctor, and all he could do was laugh.
Dont get my wrong pugster, its an awesome job. BUT I wouldnt want you going into it with all these high expectations of making tons of money, and being envyed by the doctors you serve. Because that will generally not be the case.
Good for you pacman if you can make that much money and work less hours the doctors, you beat the system for sure!

12-08-2003, 02:10 PM
Sorry I didn't mean to offend you pacman, I just found the fact that a salesman could make more then a doctor hard to believe, unless the guy is working like all day all night. I realize that family doctors go through alot of shit, alot of ppl who just like to complain if you ask me. I think thats probably why there is such a sortage of GP's in calgary, for 2 extra years of schooling you can specialize and get alot more respect, and money, and definatly more free time.
As for people complaining about their jobs, theres definatly a difference between people complaiing about their jobs now and then and actually not liking them. If you look at the big pictures, people like doctors who persivere through all that schooling, its kinda sad if they end up not enjoying there job. but honustly, any doctor I know or talked to have alot of pride in what they do, and give it there all. I'm sure its not all that bad.
so did you say that you were a drug rep? Whats it like living life like the rich and famous. A dr. friend of mine went out to dinner with one the other night and they were throwing back 400 dollar bottles of wine! must be nice! :thumbsup: