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Role of a Medical Representative

The Role of a Medical Representative

The role of a Representative is to sell products in order to increase their company's sales. This is achieved by changing the prescribing habits of GPs, selling on the benefits of the product for the relevant patient group. In simple terms, the greater quantity of drugs a pharmaceutical company can sell, (convince the doctor to prescribe) the greater profit will be made. It can be appointment led and also involves specking. This depends on the territory i.e. rural or urban. Territories are divided by postcode into bricks. Representatives sell to primary care i.e. GPs, Nurses and Pharmacists or to secondary care i.e. hospitals.

Face- to-face promotion is still the dominant marketing method within the pharmaceutical industry so being able to develop and build relationships with your customers is essential. This will start with Receptionists, also known as "gatekeepers" as they manage a Doctors time. If you stand out from other Representatives and are effective in this role, you will give the Receptionist and GP reason to return. Main aims of a Representative when visiting a GP, Nurse or Pharmacist include;

  1. Setting an objective
  2. Identifying needs
  3. Satisfying needs
  4. Commitment
  5. Follow up

The Changing NHS

Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are responsible for creating formulary listings. These are lists of prescription drugs approved by a managed health care plan or PCT for use by medical professionals. It is the responsibility of the Representative to ensure their product is on the formulary listing.

The GMS (General Medical Services) contract has been recently revised. Primary Care Organisations (PCOs) are responsible for the implementation of the GMS contract in their localities. Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) are responsible for performance managing PCOs.

The balance of power within the NHS has changed. This change began with GP fund-holding and since April 2002 the Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) now hold the purse strings. PCT pharmaceutical advisors have the power to recommend drugs to localities and individual GPs. Pharmaceutical companies vigorously promote their drugs to these new purveyors of power. Furthermore, Nurses are now allowed to write prescriptions and the growth in Nurses targeted marketing has increased dramatically.