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The Pharmaceutical Salesperson's Manifesto

By       Message Dan Abshear     Permalink
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I have yet to work for a pharmaceutical company that discusses federal laws, an important part of the job. Many drug reps follow the instructions from their bosses, even though there is chance they are illegal.

It is understandable that pharmaceutical representatives conclude that if they are instructed to behave in a certain way, then it just has to be ethical and legal.

Therefore, pharmaceutical representatives rarely question what they are mandated, asked, or coerced to do by their superiors. I suggest you get a legal dictionary, which I find to be very beneficial for confirming why you may have a pit in your stomach from being told to do something that you feel is wrong.

This would be for the benefit of both your employer and your industry. The dictionary would be for your own benefit, as well as potentially protecting the status of your employer. No, this is not in your job description, but innovation is important.

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For example, don't ever engage [in the Latin] in quid pro quo, which means, "this for that', just because you buy a medical office a lunch for their staff, or leave them a lot of drug samples.

If you happen to offer something of notable value to facilitate their practice [or your product growth] at a particular targeted medical facility, this doesn't mean the doctor owes you. If there is reciprocity, all well and good, but insisting on it is illegal.

Therefore, you should not ask for support for your products after a medical facility accepts something you offer, nor should remind your targeted location of what you have provided them. Again, this is a federal offense.

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If your sales numbers are down, don't blame the doctor. In other words, I suggest that you not beg prescribers for increased business and focus always on patient benefits. This is difficult yet is for the safety of yourself and others.

Finally, there are certain intrinsic human traits you should display as a pharmaceutical representative. Such qualities are one's character, integrity, and honesty.

Consider reflecting on the meaning of such words and strive to acquire these traits within you if they are absent, because doctors should prescribe medications for the benefit for their patients so your efforts to influence their prescribing habits should be focused on this, and not on your financial or career gain.

You as a pharmaceutical professional have a very unique occupation that many consider not so much a sales job, as a medical educator and supporter of the medical community.

Such a focus realistically would fracture existing paradigms, yet some risks are worth taking. If such things become your focus, you may contribute to the repair of the flawed image to one of an ethical industry with limited problems and bonafide intentions.

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My intrinsic pain has become annotated. Before my life was wrecked about 3 years ago, I was involved in pharmaceutical sales with very large corporations. I did this for about a decade. Before that career, I did patient care for about a (more...)
 

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