This trend in marketing comes with a one big question. Why is it that even non-medical course related graduates are interested in this type of job?

THE era of medical marketing gave rise to an increasing demand for medical sales representatives. In the country, pharmaceutical companies are eager to hire medical sales representatives to market their products.

Medical sales representatives are a key link between medical and pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals. They work strategically to increase the awareness and use of a company's pharmaceutical and medical products in settings such as general practices, primary care trusts and hospitals. They also try to ensure clients are aware of, buy and subsequently use their company's products.

This trend in marketing comes with a one big question. Why is it that even non-medical course related graduates are interested in this type of job?

For Clarisse, who is a nursing board passer, being a med rep comes in line with her field of study giving her a competitive advantage over others.

But for Julo, an AB Mass Communication graduate currently working as a professional healthcare representative, it is really hard to be bombarded with medical terms especially when he has no prior medical orientation. But the key factor is being able to market and sell their products to hospitals and doctors -- which he is able to do.

Has it something to do with promises of higher pays and better benefits?

Julo said it's never about the money but he admitted that having more benefits is an advantage.

These benefits may basically include food, shelter, transportation, and load allowances. These allowances are in addition to the basic pay that ranges from P8,000 to P15,000 monthly. Other freebees comprises of company shirts, bags, pens, papers, clipboards and other promotional products.

Studies say that the number and persistence of pharmaceutical representatives has placed a burden on the time of physicians. There has been an inverse proportion between the dramatic increase of ‘med reps’ and the quality time they spend with doctors. As a result, it has been a battle of marketing strategy just to sell more products.

But not all physicians see the situation negatively. According to Dr. Alejandro Alan F. Saberon, MD., if the medical representatives are knowledgeable with their products especially with the new innovations of their medicines, they can contribute to the armamentarium of the doctor’s management.

In the end, having prior medical orientation is not a pre-requisite for the job. As far as applicants may be able to come up with the basic work requirements they can apply and learn the necessary medical terms and studies on the way.

Moreover, there has been no notable exact definition of what a medical sales representative is. Even the job descriptions vary from one company to another. But there are common necessities for the job like arranging appointments, preparing presentations, keeping detailed records of all contacts, building and maintaining positive working relationships with medical staffs are some of the basic work requirements.

The emergence of new media and technologies has greatly affected pharmaceutical marketing in the country. It resulted to market demands at present, but the future is still unsure. It may lead to a higher market demand or a new innovation.