Career as Medical Representative: Importance of and the need for medical drugs in our day to day life hardly needs any explanation much less emphasis. Medicines are in the form of drugs and formulations. These are produced by Pharmaceutical companies. Different Pharmaceutical companies may specialise in the manufacture of different kinds of drugs and formulations, as a cure for different types of diseases. For the cure of the same disease also, different Pharmaceutical companies may be producing medicine under different brand names having the same curing effect.
Career as Medical Representative
The survival of a Pharmaceutical company depends upon the sales of its products which it is manufacturing. There comes in the need for employing Medical Representatives. They are engaged to boost the sales. They are appointed by private and public sector pharmaceutical companies. Besides handsome salary and promotional avenues the field does have a bit of glamour also.
In order to promote the sale of medicine a medical representative has to contact physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, druggists, etc. in specified areas to introduce medical products of his company to promote sales. He is required to plan daily visits to doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, chemist shops, etc. in his area. He is required to introduce to physicians and others, medical products of his company and to explain their merits. He is required to follow up his visits to ascertain the views regarding the products of his company and induce clients to prescribe his company’s products to customers.
He is required to maintain proper record of receipt and distribution of samples which is open for inspection by his Area Manager. He offers credit facilities, commissions, etc. to the customers as authorised by his company. He books orders and forwards them to the controlling office for compliance. He submits daily reports of his canvassing activities to the Area Manager and gives suggestions for improving sales. He is responsible for collection of payment. The Medical Representative will accept introduction of new product by the company and fully co-operate in making it a success. A Medical Representative is required to work as per the work schedule given to him from time to time, dividing his work into two sessions, morning and evening according to the guidelines given to him by his Area Manager. A Medical Representative is allotted a specified sale target to achieve in a year within a specified area. His success is assessed on that basis.
Although a degree in Pharmacy or Science with Biology is preferred, any degree holder with a flair for selling and one who can deliver the goods is considered suitable. Appointments are made mainly by selection/interview in response to advertisements which appear in leading newspapers. While established Pharmaceutical companies prefer 1 or 2 years experience as Medical Representative, other may not consider it essential.
To be a successful Medical Representative you should have skillful communication abilities; command over spoken and written English and local language; should possess initiative and strong motivation to achieve extra-ordinary results; should be career conscious and willing to work hard; should be prepared for extensive travelling and willing to reside anywhere in India; you should be energetic and result-oriented; you should have a pleasing personality and analytical abilities; above all you should display self-confidence. The job is quite lucrative but demanding and the aptitude of a person counts a lot in this career.
You are required to dress yourself in a neat and presentable manner. While on duty, a Medical Representative is required to carry a detailing bag and keep it in good condition all the time. The bag should normally contain literature, samples, sales-aids, diary, etc., which are required for the planned work of the day. The Medical Representative is required to complete his diary daily so as to keep a record of his daily visits to doctors/chemists/stockists etc.
After selection, a medical representative is generally given special skill development training of varying duration by various companies. Theoretical training is provided on anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, salesmanship, profile of Indian doctors, product knowledge followed by field training in which he is familiarised with selling techniques. During field training, a fresher is supposed to work with a senior Medical Representative who, in turn, demonstrates the practical aspects of the job.
Career as Medical Representative – Promotions
A medical representative can make a very promising career in pharmaceutical marketing on the basis of his sales performance and ability to manage customers. His sales performance is assessed on the basis of his ability to achieve targets fixed by the company. He can rise to the posts of:
(i) Area Manager
(ii) Regional/Zonal Manager
(iii) Divisional Sales Manager/Divisional Controller
(iv) Dy. Marketing/Dy. Sales Manager
(v) Marketing/Sales Manager
Promotions to the next higher positions is purely on merit. Those having a degree in Pharmacy can also be promoted on the manufacturing side as
(i) Product Manager,
(ii) Group Product Manager,
(iii) Marketing Manager.
A Medical Representative who has a flair for marketing and can show extra-ordinary results can rise to the highest position of Marketing Manager.
Note: Institutes offering B.Pharm. degree courses are available almost in all states. For list of these institutes you may log on to www.pci.nic.in.