Quote from Ashes
Can anyone tell me the nurses role in pharmaceuticals? I am a RN,BSN and I am trying to get out of patient care and many people have told me to look into pharmaceuticals. I was just wondering if any of you guys have or currently worked with this type of work? What exactly was your role and did\do you enjoy it?
I worked in pharmaceutical sales for 8 years (Novartis & AstraZeneca), but still did nursing on the side. The pay was decent - usually 50's base and then bonuses (average is 12K yearly). The best part of the job was the flexibility and benefits (car, 401K, medical/dental insurance). Even though I did well, I did NOT like the job at all. I hated having to promote the same drugs year after year. It's a total SCHMOOZE job and don't believe anyone if they tell you differently. Fortunately, I was able to save up enough money and go back to school to become a NP. Being on this side is SO MUCH BETTER! I have to admit that it's awesome being catered to all the time. Also, your education will be helpful in training, but you'll rarely use it in sales...that's why it's called sales! One other thing, you will have people telling you that pharm reps make in the 6 figures...that is totally false. One of my co-workers was #1 in the entire world in sales and he got exactly 30K bonus that year. I'm not sure why people assume that pharm reps make so much money(?). I'm so happy that I kept up my RN license and then went on to become a NP. Oh, you can expect to be treated poorly as a pharm rep and you'll have to put up with it. Believe it or not, the doctors were actually pretty decent (IF you can get in to see one), but some of the staff could be downright nasty. You have to have a very thick skin for that job.
p.s. I'm not sure where you live, but the Austin reps and the reps who call on the docs in the Medical Center in Houston have the toughest jobs. Almost all of the clinics in those areas have closed their doors to pharm reps. It's pretty darned hard to influence a docs (PA or NP) prescribing habits if you can't even speak to him/her!