Launching pad

February 1, 2009

Pharmaceutical Representative

Pharma knows product launches. In fact, the industry is at its best when making big news about its products and trumpeting its accomplishments. Product launches are glorious things that have the ability to captivate the public and energize industry insiders. That's something pharna could use right about now. Sure, it has been a while since we've seen a good launch, but maybe its time for a new one: Pharma Rep 2.0.

Pharma knows product launches. In fact, the industry is at its best when making big news about its products and trumpeting its accomplishments. Product launches are glorious things that have the ability to captivate the public and energize industry insiders. That's something pharna could use right about now. Sure, it has been a while since we've seen a good launch, but maybe its time for a new one: Pharma Rep 2.0.

Reid Paul

In this issue's cover story, Matt Wallach provides a compelling argument that the pharmaceutical representative position will have to change significantly in the near future. Industry pressures and a fundamentally different sales environment are pushing the changes. And the pressure will only rise as layoffs and reorganizations reshape sales departments across the industry. Reps will have to be more flexible, better trained and better integrated with the rest of pharma operations.

Many of these changes, undoubtedly, are already underway throughout the industry. It's likely that this year will see many of these trends more fully established. In that respect, Rep 2.0 doesn't seem so different than the current model. Better training, new technology solutions and increased flexibility should sound familiar to most reps.

But just because these trends are ongoing doesn't mean the industry can't make a big deal about it. These changes are significant, and a public launch of the new pharma sales rep could have benefits for the industry. Adherence to the PhRMA Code, better use of technology, a higher degree of training for reps and a more educational focus for details could help restore the public (and doctors') trust in pharmaceutical sales representatives. These are big changes that are worth promoting. So, maybe its time to celebrate the new you.

Reid Paul

Editor-in-Chief

rpaul@advanstar.com

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