Pharmaceutical Sales? - page 5

Have any of you fellow nurses had any experience with this? I was talking to a few people *non-nurses* who said that there is good money in this, etc. They said being a nurse would be an advantage. I... Read More

  1. by   HeartsOpenWide
    Before I started nursing school I worked in a family practice as a Medical Assistant. I was talking to one of the drug reps. I was asking her about her job, what she had to do to get it etc. She told me that all she had to do was have her BS/BA in any subject. In the conversation however, she told me that she use to be a FNP but she quit to become a drug rep when she found out they were making more than her. I know hard to believe, but this is what she honestly told me! I have a friend that has a degree in respiratory therapy, but found out that she did not like touching people and is not using her degree. One of the drug reps for a nebulizer treatment came in. I asked my friend why she did not get a job with this organization. She told me that she would never want to be a drug rep for any amount of money because she would not enjoy her job and that drug reps are "glorified telemarketers".

    My uncle has his degree as a pharmacist, quit to become a drug rep, and is now a lobbyist for a pharmaceutical corporation and makes more money than he can spend and has enough frequent flyer miles he has given my mom tickets in the past to come visit him.
  2. by   aKyRN81
    Quote from Epona
    I have enjoyed reading this post. I too have worked in sales. Not medical sales, but sales none-the-less. I can share with you what I have experienced. Most of the people hired were young, thin, and attractive. They had to be smooth talkers and do "extras" for their clients... buy them dinner, get them sports tickets, take them to concerts, etc. Sales WAS SO HARD. .. Salespeople dropped like flys in the office. I lasted almost a year, but it was stressful. Funny, most of the salespeople who did well were young, pretty, thin girls. I sometimes wonder what they did to reach all their goals and then some. Sales is a TOUGH business. Some people are good at it. Most aren't.
    In a previous job as a nurse liaison I toured the MD offices and hospitals- not selling but networking for name recognition of an agency. I quickly noticed that the pharm reps in this area all looked alike. All young, usually blonde. thin, well manicured and wearing high heels and tailored black suits, expensive looking! The amount of personal upkeep to maintain the 'look' must have been huge. The male reps also wore the black suits, were beautifully groomed and had every hair in place. These folks look like they just stepped off the cover of a magazine and yet were out all day in drizzling rain, snow and slush, humidity, whatever weather. That alone has to be a challenge ...
  3. by   DrugReptoNurse
    The pharmaceutical industry is one where looks matter. For that matter looks matter in any sales position. People want to buy from other attractive people. Have you ever seen a commercial full of fugly people??

    With that being said...the pharmaceutical industry has changed dramatically in the past 10 years. I spent the last 11 years in the industry doing everything from sales, product management and brand management. I finally had enough when the drug I was selling....VIOXX...got pulled off of the market. I knew deep down inside I was promoting a drug that was possibly killing people. I decided then I wanted to become a nurse and am now in my 2nd semseter of my BSN program.

    Drug reps starting out make around $60k with base and bonus. You also get a full range of benefits with a free company car. That is the good part. The bad part is that you have zero job security. Turnover is high...around 40% per year for each organization. They now prefer to hire fresh out of college graduates and it seems the preference is for big busted blondes.

    Three nights out of five during the week you will be sharing educational meetings with doctors at local restaraunts. This takes time away from your significant other and kids if you have them. Every night after work you will come home to a pile of paperwork and about an hour of computer busy work. There are numerous meetings where you have to be gone for a week at a time stuck in a hotel room with a roommate you don't know. You'll be expected to grow your marketshare every month. If you don't..they fire you. Managed care insurance plans these days determines which drug a doctor Rx and which one he/she doesn't. There are more mergers today and downsizings/layoff then there have been since the early 90s. Pfizer at the end of last year laid of 2200 reps. They probably should of laid off 10000 but that is just my opinion.

    Bottom line...I wouldn't recommend a pharmaceutical sales job to anybody...period. It will suck the life out of you and leave you with nothing but bad memories.
  4. by   KeithRN
    I have read most of the posts re: pharm sales & it just depresses me. I am burnt out from 12 years of Nursing. It's not Nursing itself but all of the crap that goes along with it. I have heard a lot of the negatives about sales, but there are SO many about nursing. If I am going to suffer, why not at least make money doing so? Actually, I am glad I read the posts. They have led me to think that I should be thinking more in terms of being a clinical nurse specialist for a medical device. This way, I can make more money, get out of direct patient care & the hospital beauracracy, & not have to deal with the downside of being a drug rep. Now, how did I get into this? Thanks, everybody, for possibly saving me a lot of suffering as I have been pursing a career change to pharm sales.
  5. by   galapcp
    I am sooooooo glad I am already out of the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industry!!!!:hatparty::hatparty::hatparty::hatpart y::hatparty::hatparty::hatparty:
  6. by   galapcp
    Quote from DrugReptoNurse
    The pharmaceutical industry is one where looks matter. For that matter looks matter in any sales position. People want to buy from other attractive people. Have you ever seen a commercial full of fugly people??

    With that being said...the pharmaceutical industry has changed dramatically in the past 10 years. I spent the last 11 years in the industry doing everything from sales, product management and brand management. I finally had enough when the drug I was selling....VIOXX...got pulled off of the market. I knew deep down inside I was promoting a drug that was possibly killing people. I decided then I wanted to become a nurse and am now in my 2nd semseter of my BSN program.

    Drug reps starting out make around $60k with base and bonus. You also get a full range of benefits with a free company car. That is the good part. The bad part is that you have zero job security. Turnover is high...around 40% per year for each organization. They now prefer to hire fresh out of college graduates and it seems the preference is for big busted blondes.

    Three nights out of five during the week you will be sharing educational meetings with doctors at local restaraunts. This takes time away from your significant other and kids if you have them. Every night after work you will come home to a pile of paperwork and about an hour of computer busy work. There are numerous meetings where you have to be gone for a week at a time stuck in a hotel room with a roommate you don't know. You'll be expected to grow your marketshare every month. If you don't..they fire you. Managed care insurance plans these days determines which drug a doctor Rx and which one he/she doesn't. There are more mergers today and downsizings/layoff then there have been since the early 90s. Pfizer at the end of last year laid of 2200 reps. They probably should of laid off 10000 but that is just my opinion.

    Bottom line...I wouldn't recommend a pharmaceutical sales job to anybody...period. It will suck the life out of you and leave you with nothing but bad memories.
    Hooray! Good decision!!!!!:hatparty:
  7. by   galapcp
    Quote from KeithRN
    I have read most of the posts re: pharm sales & it just depresses me. I am burnt out from 12 years of Nursing. It's not Nursing itself but all of the crap that goes along with it. I have heard a lot of the negatives about sales, but there are SO many about nursing. If I am going to suffer, why not at least make money doing so? Actually, I am glad I read the posts. They have led me to think that I should be thinking more in terms of being a clinical nurse specialist for a medical device. This way, I can make more money, get out of direct patient care & the hospital beauracracy, & not have to deal with the downside of being a drug rep. Now, how did I get into this? Thanks, everybody, for possibly saving me a lot of suffering as I have been pursing a career change to pharm sales.
    Hi KeithRN... so, what is your final decision?

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