Most pharmaceutical sales reps have a strong passion for helping others and believe their role positively affects the lives of other people. Unfortunately, they often receive a bad reputation as each year uncovers pharma scandals.
While it’s necessary to understand the bigger picture issues behind scandals, like EpiPen and the outbreak in opioid usage, it’s also crucial to remember patients whose lives have changed thanks to hardworking medical sales reps.
In a world where negative news is constant and instant, here are the stories of two pharmaceutical reps who know the reality behind making a difference in the field:
Educating beyond average expectations
The amount of time doctors have to sit down and chat with sales representatives is more limited than ever. Something pharma sales representative, Christine Lee, knows all too well.
“The role of a pharma/medical device sales representative is to educate and inform physicians and other medical professionals about pharmaceutical drugs. Pharma/Medical device sales representative visits are seen as an efficient source of drug information which includes drug benefits, features, and competitive edge,” said Lee.
While selling to ENTs and Allergists, Lee found many times doctors didn’t have the time on their own to research and understand medication or procedures. So, it was up to Lee to share her expertise about sinusitis therapy with not only the doctor, but also the medical staff and patients.
“For some patients, this was their third line of therapy. They had difficulty smelling the everyday smells that we take for granted — like coffee.” Lee explained.
Patients who had multiple sinus surgeries found the new therapy to be a miracle worker. It’s success stories like this that make Lee so grateful she took the extra time to spend with prescribing physicians, medical staff, and patients.
“The continuous personal touch and presence of a pharma/medical device sales representative is crucial and necessary to and for the physician’s utilization of the drug/device,” Lee said.
Saving lives by building relationships
When a doctor is busy running a business and taking care of patient needs, their ability to research and stay up-to-date on products is nearly impossible. This commonality runs strong amongst all medical sales fields, according to Linda Hertz, a medical device sales recruiter who helps finds placements for many medical professionals — including pharmaceutical sales pros.
It turns out, what many outsiders view as ‘pill pushing’ visits from pharma reps, are actually welcomed informative meetings with doctors.
Hertz said, “It is a pause in their day, and several told me this morning that many of these physicians welcome the ‘informed’ pharmaceutical sales person on briefing them on their products and increasing their knowledge base.”
During a recent interview with a pharmaceutical salesperson, Hertz had the opportunity to hear an inspiring story about the efficacy and importance of a cardiac drug in the area of stroke prevention.
“[The sales rep] called upon a physician he had a previous relationship with and provided the needed information for him to make an informed decision. The physician, with the help of his pharmaceutical sales person, was able to get the product on the hospital formulary and within two months the physician saw a significant statistical drop in stroke occurrences with his at-risk patients,” said Hertz
After being a pharmaceutical sales representative for a long time with two major companies, the pharmaceutical representative has developed a strong passion for his career.
Linda said, “When he was finished with this particular story, he looked at me and said, ‘Linda, I could give you at least one example a month of my drugs combined with me sharing my knowledge of those drugs and competitive products with doctors that have ultimately made a difference in patient lives.’
Successful sales representatives who love their jobs will tell you they’re not selling a product, they’re building relationships. With these long-term relationships, each representative is able to give doctors much needed information to make the best informed decision for their patients.
Do you have stories of how pharmaceutical reps have positively impacted healthcare? Let us know in the comments below!