Pharmaceutical Sales Rep

I spent time with Darcy Polito, a specialist pharmaceutical sales representative for Bayer. She has represented lots of drugs and now that she is a specialist she represents the birth control pill and two other sexual health drugs. She has a business education and a PR background, but now has to understand the science of the drugs she represents. She visits around six doctors per day at clinics and hospitals. However before she visits any doctors, Bayer buys data from pharmacies that show the doctor’s buying habits. Now that Darcy knows what drugs doctors are interested in she visits them and tries to influence them. This is no easy task though since doctors see a lot of sales rep. Thus, Darcy tries to distinguish herself and add value to the visit by being creative. She has prepared research reports in the past, brought coffee, and other tricks to try and develop a unique relationship with doctors. That being said, the industry does have strict guidelines which forbids bribery, so you have to be careful.

Being a pharmaceutical sales representative is an ideal job if you want a mix of science and business. While sales can be tough, sales representatives learn people skills, how to be creative, communication skills, and listening skills which are great for any career. Darcy also really enjoys promoting public health, after all, the birth control pill has reduced abortions and unwanted pregnancies. However, I think the best part of the job is developing relationships with doctors and the awesome perks. Making your own hours is convenient, being paid extra for meeting a sales target while making an annual salary ensures financial security and keeps work exciting, and of course being given a nice car sounds good too. 

A Typical Day

Every day varies for a pharmaceutical sales representative. However, her job is to promote the overall benefits of a drug, increase awareness, and increase sales by visiting doctors or other clinicians.

Top 3 Perks

1) Meet new doctors all the time 

2) You make your own hours and receive bonuses

3) Drug companies give you a car and other perks because you are on the road often

Job Culture

Driving to many offices, meeting new people, keeping records and analyzing data, answering difficult questions


1) Bachelor degree in business or science 

2) Pass industry run exams 

- Science and business training is available since you must know both

 -TIP: The ideal qualification is a bachelor of science and an MBA

Skills Needed

Determined, persuasive, people skills, communication, ability to read people, creativity, listening skills

The Field

- There is a shortage of family doctors so they are busier which means they have less time for pharmaceutical sales rep

- It is a great industry to join if you enjoy being out and about instead of sitting in a cubicle