How to Become a Medical Sales Representative (Pharmaceutical Sales Representative)

A medical or pharmaceutical sales representative is a professional or organization who takes order on behalf of the company, provides scientific information about the drugs and is licensed to convey the drug in the course of their duty.

In Nigeria, some duties of a medical sales representative are promotion, advertising, marketing and distributing pharmaceutical products. They visit hospitals and other health facilities and meet with the doctors, prescribers. They try to convince them to prescribe their own line of products, by outlining the benefit of their own products as against the competitor’s brands.

Basic Requirements to become a Medical Sales Representative

To become a Medical Sales Representative in Nigeria, you must have some basic requirements. According to a new rule by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, you must possess:

  • A minimum of Bachelor Degree in Pharmacy
  • Registered with the Council (PCN) as a Pharmaceutical Representative.

The Pharmacist is required to submit an application form to the Registrar of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, with the evidence of payment of prescribed fees.

In our previous post, we explained the new regulations introduced by PCN as regards the registration of pharmacists as sales representatives.

Difference between Pharmaceutical Sales Representative and a Detailing Representative

In some organizational structures, a pharmaceutical sales representative may perform a different role from the detailing representative.

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In Pharmaceutical marketing, a pharmaceutical detailing representative visits the hospital and meets with the doctor to persuade them to prescribe the company’s products more.

It is a controversial practice, but it is legal. The 1:1 technique involves the rep trying to educate the doctor about why the company’s products are better, giving them reasons to prescribe it more.

Academic detailing is used in some parts of the USA and Canada. The doctors, pharmacists who teach the prescriber about the drug have no financial links to the companies, thereby they tend to be neutral in their approach.

Another approach is e-detailing, a detailing representative using the power of the internet and social media to educate prescribes on the products.

Difference between a Medical Sales Representative and a Sales Representative

A sales representative must not necessarily be a pharmacist. A sales representative is a person, or an organization accredited by the Council through an approved institution to take orders of non-ethical medicines, to provide information and convey such medicines as samples in the course of their duty.

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Sales Representative
Must be a licensed pharmacist from a recognized school in Nigeria Can be a Pharmacist or a graduate of Biological or Chemical Sciences such as Biology, Neurobiology Biochemistry, Microbiology, Physiology, Neuroscience, Human Nutrition, Pharmacology, Immunology or Ecology
Your license as a pharmacist is necessary A diploma in pharmaceutical sales might be required
Accreditation is valid for the period determined by the council Accreditation is valid for two years
A pharmaceutical sales representative can convey ethical medicines A sales representative can only handle non-ethical medicines in the course of their duties

Salary of a Medical Sales Representative in Nigeria

An entry medical sales representative in Nigeria earns about 100,000 to 200,000, depending on the company and job description. There are other additional payments, such as travel allowances and incentives, based on sales and other performances.

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Best Pharmaceutical Companies for Medical Sales Representative Jobs

In Nigeria, pharmaceutical sales representatives’ jobs are offered by both indigenous pharmaceutical companies and multinational pharmaceutical companies. The indigenous pharmaceutical companies may not have the same level of payment and incentive as the multinational pharmaceutical companies.

Some of the best indigenous pharmaceutical companies for pharmaceutical representative jobs are:

  • Fidson Healthcare Plc
  • Getz Pharma Nig Ltd.
  • Pharmatex Nig. Ltd.
  • May & Baker, Nigeria Plc
  • Greenlife Pharmaceutical Ltd
  • Zolon Healthcare Limited
  • Mopson Pharmaceutical Ltd
  • Agary Pharmaceutical Ltd
  • Chi Pharmaceutical Ltd
  • Geneith Pharmaceuticals
  • Biomedical Limited
  • Pharma Ethics Limited

The best multinational pharmaceutical companies for medical sales representative jobs are:

  • Novartis International AG
  • Sanofi-Aventis Nigeria Ltd
  • Astrazeneca
  • Pfizer
  • Roche
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • AbbVie
  • DKT International
  • Micronova Pharmaceuticals
  • Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc.

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