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Schools for Aspiring Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives

Pharmaceutical sales representatives work for pharmaceutical companies. They inform physicians, hospitals and pharmacists about newly developed drugs. Individuals interested in this career can find training through select colleges and universities.

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How to Select a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Program

Pharmaceutical sales representatives attend conferences, provide samples and take orders for pharmaceutical products. Certificates in the field are available and are usually offered through a university's continuing education department.

Summary of Considerations

  • Certification prep
  • Online learning
  • Sales curriculum

Certification Prep

Aspiring pharmaceutical sales representatives should determine whether a program's curriculum complies with the National Association of Pharmaceutical Representatives (NAPRx). NAPRx is not an accrediting agency, but it offers the Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative (CNPR) credential, which certifies individuals as being knowledgeable about the laws and ethics of the field. Certification is not required to work in the field; however, it may enhance an individual's ability to find employment in the field after graduation.

Online Learning

The majority of pharmaceutical representative certificate programs are offered online. Prospective students should determine whether they are able and willing to study online. Additionally, online programs may require specific computer software or hardware.

Sales Curriculum

As pharmaceutical representation usually requires sales, individuals may want to choose a program that provides instruction in sales techniques. Building skills in public speaking, persuasion and interpersonal relationships may assist students in a successful sales representative career.

Program Overview

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Certificate Program

Certificate programs for pharmaceutical sales can require up to one year of study. The NAPRx-approved curriculum consists of 14 topics covering drug research and development processes, anatomy, clinical pharmacology and therapeutic cases. Schools are individually permitted to divide and teach these 14 topics, but the majority of programs are uniform in their curriculum. Teachings also typically cover:

  • Field sales
  • FDA guidelines
  • Legal aspects of pharmacology
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