pharma rep job change?

  1. Anybody with information about the pros and cons of being a pharmaceutical rep, please respond. I'm particularly interested in people with actual experience in this field, or know someone who is in the field, especially nurses who now are doing this. Thanks
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   SusanJean
    I worked in the pharm industry for more than 11 yrs... mostly as a manager.

    While the pay and benefits are attractive, the job is boring. It is really going from one office to another leaving samples. Occasionally you promote your products to the doctors. You often cater in lunch.

    At the time I entered the industry, it was considered a life-long career - you could start w/ a company and if you worked well, retire w/ them. These days the companies are always restructuring and downsizing - so there is little job stability. Good reps (highly paid) are being let go due to high salaries and are replaced w/ new hires at starting salaries.

    There is nothing worse than honestly promoting a product and having it pulled by the FDA for lack of safety. While this did not happen to me, I know reps that were affected by this and they were devistated.

    There is no amount of money that would make me go back to this industry.

    SJ
  4. by   hcmanp
    whoof! I had a feeling boring might sum it up some days. Anybody with the pro side?
  5. by   Audreyfay
    My Diabetes Educator Supervisor quit her hospital supervisory job to go to a pharmaceutical representative job. She REALLY likes it. Course, she has been in it < 6 months now.
  6. by   Browndog
    I have two friends that have been pharm reps. The first left the suture division of a large company to try his hand at pharm. He lasted only a year and described the job as PAINFULLY boring (like to the point of tears). He has since returned to the suture division of the company and is very happy. He has been with this firm for long time. The second friend works "part time" for a large pharm company and she cannot stand her job. Describes it as cut-throat and mindless.

    Don't let my comments discourage you because a sales career can offer a great way of life. I am just a little, less than thrilled, with what I have heard from pharm reps. Have you considered selling surgical products? I have heard that this is an interesting and profitable choice if one can land the job.

    One question, if you don't mind. Are you an NP and, if so, why are you leaving nursing to pursue sales? I am not judging as I have enjoyed a long year sales career myself. Just curious.

    browndog
  7. by   FNP/DNP
    Quote from hcmanp
    Anybody with information about the pros and cons of being a pharmaceutical rep, please respond. I'm particularly interested in people with actual experience in this field, or know someone who is in the field, especially nurses who now are doing this. Thanks
    Having a business degree and some sales experience prior to nursing and many friends in pharmaceuticals, I think I can speak to this career choice.

    I think the field used to be very lucrative and enjoyable back in the day, but now it has become cut throat and the daily details are more boring. The product lines that reps are carrying are smaller with most companies. My rep friends speak often of the instability as one company is being bought by another.

    On the pro side, I think the flexibility is great, you get a company car and freedom to make your schedule (although they have to account for all of their time). My office was very nice to reps because we were an indigent clinic that relied on the samples and they treated us well. Some offices are downright rude to them. You have to have a very thick skin.

    Personally, I think the job would be incredibly boring. Now a friend of mine worked for J & J in their medical equipment sales and that was great. She sold joint replacement products and actually went to surgery with the orthopods. I think that would be much more interesting and challenging. There are alot of options and they LOVE nurses, pharmacists, etc.

    Good luck with your career choice.
  8. by   hcmanp
    Quote from Browndog
    I have two friends that have been pharm reps. The first left the suture division of a large company to try his hand at pharm. He lasted only a year and described the job as PAINFULLY boring (like to the point of tears). He has since returned to the suture division of the company and is very happy. He has been with this firm for long time. The second friend works "part time" for a large pharm company and she cannot stand her job. Describes it as cut-throat and mindless.

    Don't let my comments discourage you because a sales career can offer a great way of life. I am just a little, less than thrilled, with what I have heard from pharm reps. Have you considered selling surgical products? I have heard that this is an interesting and profitable choice if one can land the job.

    One question, if you don't mind. Are you an NP and, if so, why are you leaving nursing to pursue sales? I am not judging as I have enjoyed a long year sales career myself. Just curious.

    browndog
    I lost my private office and am now sharing the space with the individuals who do referrals, resulting in large numbers of people littering "my" office. I had my nose out of joint about that, as well as other job concerns, such as no raise in the past 2 years, no referrals from the 4 md's I collaborate with, resulting in large stretches of boredom...One of my reps came in, saw my situation, and was outraged for me, and recommended the change. I thought I'd at least check it out.

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