Pfizer's sales force exceeds 4,000

November 1, 1998

Pharmaceutical Representative

Following a consistent trend of annual or semi-annual expansion, Pfizer will increase its sales force during the fourth quarter of the year.

Following a consistent trend of annual or semi-annual expansion, Pfizer will increase its sales force during the fourth quarter of the year.

In early 1998, the number of Pfizer reps grew to approximately 3,800, but the success of new product launches and anticipation about upcoming launches has Pfizer preparing to reinforce its troops. Industry sources say the number of anticipated new hires hovers just above 600 reps and an additional 75 managers.

Recent hires will staff a new primary care field force, according to Hank McCrorie, group vice president of sales for Pfizer. A new specialty field force is also part of Pfizer's plans for the future.

"We continue to expand because we continue to introduce new products and we continue to join in copromotions," McCrorie said. "We need additional personnel to support in-line products as well as products we intend to launch in 1999."

Obviously, Pfizer's launch of Viagra for erectile dysfunction created a flurry of activity in the field for its reps. According to Scott-Levin, Newton, PA, Viagra generated more than 592,000 prescriptions in its first month on the market and gained nearly 95% of new prescriptions in the erectile dysfunction market. As of mid-May, 1.4 million prescriptions for the product had been dispensed.

McCrorie is stoical about the positive fallout Viagra's success had on Pfizer's reps and their ability to detail other unrelated products, such as Trovan, Zyrtec, Zithromax and Zoloft.

"Anytime you introduce new exciting products, doctors want to see you, and when they want to see you, that gives you greater access," he said. "But that's not just Viagra. That's true anytime you have innovative new products."

Pfizer is hoping that will be the case when it begins copromoting Celexa, a COX-2 inhibitor anti-inflammatory drug, with Searle, after the product's anticipated market approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The copromotion, given Pfizer's recent expansion and the pending merger of Monsanto (Searle's parent company) and American Home Products, will have more than 8,500 sales reps available for details. PR

Related Content:

News