Drug rep jobs can be very interesting and here is a common pharmaceutical sales scenario where the reps will try to convince doctors to use newer long acting drugs known as sustained release (SR) or long acting (LA) versions of older short
Short acting drugs do not last long in the bloodstream so they must be dosed three to four times per day while the new SR/LA forms require to be taken only once per day. Long acting drugs are slowly released in the bloodstream resulting in constant levels throughout the day even with single doses.
For the added convenience of single dosing, there is usually a significant premium in cost with the SR/LA drugs compared to the older originals. This is especially true in the case of many drugs including antihypertensive agents and antibiotics that have already been genericized (duplicated as brand 'X').
Many drug reps promoting these products will often get resistance from doctors who want to stay with the older treatments as they would say, "The new drugs are too expensive so I'll stick with the old ones."
What drug representatives have to do in these cases is to probe deeper for any dissatisfaction that physicians may have with the older products. They will have to ask something like, "Doctor, are there any patients that have compliance issues with three to four times per day dosing?"
Clinically, it is widely recognized that as dosing requirements increase, compliance levels will drop. Doctors will admit that there are some patients who either forget to take their pills or they are usually caught in activities making it inconvenient to
take them (one example is outdoor work).
When doses of drugs are missed, levels in the bloodstream will drop below what's required for effective treatment. Many patients will actually discontinue their treatments because of the inconvenience of multi-dosing.
This is especially true with children who have to be reminded or interrupted in class during school hours to take their medications. In children, treatment failure rates with drugs requiring three to four doses per day often surpass 50%.
Needless to say, it can be very frustrating for physicians when patients do not take their medications properly or discontinue them altogether.
Once doctors acknowledge the existence of these problem patients, the drug representative can offer the newer drugs as better solutions. That's what good sales people do.
Once per day dosing results in much better compliance levels and therefore higher treatment successes. Even with kids, a single dose taken once in the morning before going to school is all that's needed for the entire day. This is much easier than multi-dosing!
Smart drug representatives convey the point that although the older versions are less expensive, they are useless if treatment failures are high due to non-compliance. Doctors will usually agree and start using more SR/LA forms to avoid these kinds of treatment failures.
When physicians switch to using the newer long acting medications, it becomes a win-win situation for all. Patients get better treatments, doctors achieve higher success rates (fewer problem patients) and pharmaceutical companies earn more with sales of the higher priced newer drugs.
The lesson here is that it is possible to successfully sell customers more expensive products if the value of using them could be proven. Drug reps must find problems that physicians have with cheaper older therapies and offer their products as better solutions. Helping doctors with their treatment problems will result in sales.
I have personally been involved in the selling of a few SR drugs in the fields of hypertension and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) where this type of strategy against older treatments was used.
Convincing pharmaceutical companies to hire you is similar as you have to show them the value of your skills for their sales forces. You have to prove to them that you are the best solution compared to your competition for drug rep jobs and that's what my educational programs help you do.
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