#pharmaceutical #pharmaceuticals — Here is the first case study from my years during jobs in pharmaceutical sales that I will present. It is about selling newer SR/LA drugs against older versions. This is a common pharmaceutical sales scenario where drug representatives will try to convince doctors to use newer long acting drugs known as sustained release (SR) or long acting (LA) versions of older short acting medications.
Short acting drugs do not last long in the bloodstream so they must be dosed three to four times per day while the new SR/LA forms require to be taken only once per day. Long acting drugs are slowly released in the bloodstream resulting in constant levels throughout the day even with single doses.
For the added convenience of single dosing, there is usually a significant premium in cost with the SR/LA drugs compared to the older originals. This is especially true in the case of many drugs including antihypertensive agents and antibiotics that have already been genericized (duplicated as brand ‘X’).
Many drug representatives promoting the SR/LA products will often get resistance from doctors who want to stay with the older drugs as they would say, “The new drugs are too expensive so I’ll stick with the old ones.”
So that is a major objection and a pretty common one during jobs in pharmaceutical sales. Doctors just want to keep using the least expensive drugs that have been around for years. This is especially true for geographical areas that have many patients that do now have high income levels and lack of adequate insurance coverage for medications. Both doctors and patients can be extremely price sensitive for drugs.
As for the solution on what drug representatives should do, I will present what actually happened in my own case while out in the field since I did promote a few drugs that fit into this scenario. But I won’t do it now since I would like to invite your thoughts and comments on this problem first.
I will present a feasible solution on my next blog post. Then you can see the overall case and get an appreciation of the interesting strategies used in jobs in pharmaceutical sales.