How Pharmacists Will Continue to Play an Integral Role for Medical Sales Reps Post-COVID-19
In today’s realm of leaning on essential frontline workers, pharmacists carry an integral role in delivering healthcare directly to those in need. And to a medical sales rep whose job will change dramatically due to COVID-19 — a role that has traditionally relied on much face-to-face interaction with clients and pharmacists alike — the pharmacist is one person who will remain critical to your success.
In the simplest terms, a pharmacist is a rep’s sales partner. You’ve gone through the product training, honed your skills and built strong relationships with physicians, and finally, it all comes to a head with prescriptions being filled at the pharmacy and eventually to the patients themselves.
Naturally, this means strong relationships with pharmacists in your region can be just as important as the relationships with physicians and therefore, should require your attention and care just the same. An authorized pharmacist is a pharmaceutical expert, specializing in pharmaceutical disease management, while the physician specializes in simply diagnosing the illness and method for treating it. This means physicians rely on informed, trustworthy, and reputable pharmacists to train their patients to use metered-dose inhalers, blood pressure monitors, and injectable medications effectively.
Meanwhile, the patient relies on their pharmacist to instruct them in the proper use and dosages of their mediations, they inform them of the expected results or side effects to look for, and even care instructions in case of a negative response to a prescription. For all these reasons, the sales rep relies heavily on a quality pharmacist for support in both patient education and follow up with physicians, working as another source of feedback to the medical professionals that are a rep’s client base.
So how do you, the medical sales rep, work with a pharmacist in a way that sustains success with your clients?
Approach Pharmacy Calls As If You Are Presenting to a Physician
A diligent medical sales rep will regularly approach his calls with a pharmacist with the same focus and urgency of presenting to a physician, be it sharing clinical trial data or being open to feedback on a product’s impact, positive or negative, on its patients.
However, pharmacists don’t want you to sell them your product. This isn’t a pitch, as they’re not the person prescribing your drug. They are, however, the person who can ensure your product is being put to effective use if equipped with the most up to date information and data. So let them know as soon as you open the call what you intend to cover. Do you need approval to show solution vouchers or coupons? Would you like to advise the pharmacy staff about another medicine dispatch? Knowing and sharing your intentions immediately can make each interaction more productive for your overall success, and reminding the pharmacist who you are will help you build a stronger relationship over time.
Delivering your information thoroughly is important, as pharmacists need to know the specific dosing, methods of application, harmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) profile, and events of symptoms aligned with your product. The better equipped they are with this information, the more productive their meetings with physicians and patients will be, in turn.
As COVID-19 has introduced new challenges to person-to-person visits in clinics and the ways in which patients even receive their medications, an informed and prepared pharmacist is an even more powerful ally to the sales rep than ever before, ensuring their products are used effectively and with the best results possible.