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Why should you work in Medical Sales?

Posted on: 19 Apr

All over the world, the medical and pharmaceutical sectors are booming, and nowhere more so than in the UK. With a thriving ecosystem of researchers, engineers, designers and clinicians, the UK makes up the third largest market for medical technology in all of Europe, and is a global centre for pharmaceutical drugs, devices and more. Indeed, with more than 3,700 companies in the medical technology sector generating a turnover of £21bn every year, the sector is thriving.

For people looking to take on a new challenge, Medical Sales could be the perfect job fit. Flexible, challenged and motivated, Medical Sales Representatives provide the link between Pharmaceutical, Medical and Biotech companies and the healthcare system which supplies their products to its patients. Given that drug companies are spending more than £10m a day developing new products that they can’t advertise due to strict regulations, Medical Sales Representatives are crucial to getting these drugs out into the market. 

Whether you’re a fresh graduate or considering making the switch to a new line of work, here’s why medical sales should be the career for you.

1) It’s flexible 

For those people who value a flexible work schedule - which 67% of the UK workforce wish they were offered - working as a Medical Sales Representative is the ideal career path. Sales Representatives have a lot of freedom to control their own diaries and arrange appointments with GPs and medical practitioners for times that best suit them - within reason. Some have compared this freedom to feeling like they’re self-employed, and for people who don’t like to work behind a desk all the time and like to travel, this job involves a lot of travelling, both to see established clients and clinch new sales deals. In medical sales, being independent is part of your day-to-day job: for people who value their freedom, this is ideal.

2) It’s well paid

Working as a Medical Sales Representative allows you to take control of what you earn. Alongside the bonuses that come with closing deals, working in medical sales is well paid, with starters earning up to £24,000 and senior-level roles starting at £40,000. When you factor in bonuses, these sums can easily reach six figures which when combined with benefits like a company car, laptop, cell phone and in the UK even private health insurance, adds up to a huge incentive for people who are financially motivated, or who want to start climbing the career ladder.

3) You can make a difference

Alongside all the benefits that come with doing a good job, working in medical sales makes a real difference to patient’s lives. Alongside cultivating and maintaining long-standing relationships with customers, GPs and medical staff, the benefits of working in sales, whether you’re selling medical devices or new medical drugs, is that the work you do plays a key role in improving people’s lives. Sometimes, the product that you sell could prolong a patient’s life by years, or drastically improve the quality of life for a person with a chronic disease. For some Sales Representatives, that’s a key part of why they do the job.

4) You have a lot of responsibility

Though international drug companies pour millions of English pounds into developing new drugs, strict regulations mean that the way in which they can market their products is very limited - especially in the UK and Europe. This means that Sales Representatives play a key role getting these products out into general circulation: whether that’s by pitching your products to senior commissioning groups or educating patients and healthcare professionals on the benefits of a drug, and why it should be used. It’s a lot of responsibility, and creates an atmosphere that ambitious people will thrive in. 

5) You can keep learning

One of the best things about working in medical sales is that you don’t need to have a degree in order to start - and progress - in your chosen career. Only around 55% of Sales Representatives working in pharmaceuticals and healthcare in the UK have a science degree, whilst the other 45% come from a wide range of backgrounds, from working in nursing to career paths as diverse as working in the police - though medical experience or a science degree is preferred, it’s by no means necessary. 

When you join, the company most often will give you a comprehensive initial training programme, and all the information you need to pass the ABPI Medical Representatives Exam which will test you on everything from pathology and pharmacology to the human body. You’ll also be receiving training to keep up with the changing demands of the job, the new products that you’ll be selling and the advances in technology that are also gradually transforming the way in which many Sales Representatives work. In medical sales, you’ll never stop learning.

6) It’s varied

You won’t just be clinching sales deals as a Medical Sales Representative: despite what some people may think, a career in sales is remarkably varied. Quite apart from branching out into selling hundreds of different products - from new orphan drugs to medical imaging devices, as well as home health devices and health IT - you’ll also be giving presentations, conducting training sessions, and even helping out surgeons in the operating theatre, in addition to researching new leads, managing budgets and filing paperwork that ensures you comply with the strict governmental regulations. One thing we claim as certain: whether in the office or on the road, you won’t be bored!

Take control of your future with IQVIA™.

At IQVIA, we work hard to match talented applicants to the best jobs in medical sales from around the industry. Find out more about what we do here, or why not browse our articles for more industry insights here?