Medical Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Job Summaries
20:20 Selection has drawn up a list of industry job definitions to assist you with the recruitment process. If there are any definitions which you would like to see added to our list, please do not hesitate to contact us on email@example.com or call us directly on 0845 026 2020.
Hospital Specialists promote a company’s range of products to customers in a Secondary Care setting. This means that as a Hospital Specialist, you are likely to be influencing Consultants, Nurses and Pharmacists, in order that your products are made available and are used, both within the hospital, by making sure that they are ‘on formulary’, and also that your products are endorsed or recommended to GP’s by hospital clinicians.
Key Opinion Leader development is an important part of the role. Hospital Specialists tend to have been Medical Representatives for a few years before they get the opportunity to focus purely on selling to hospital based customers.
Key Account Manager
Key Account Managers can be Hospital Specialists, Healthcare Development Managers or Medical Representatives. In fact, different companies tend to use the term to mean slightly different things. However, whatever environment you are working in, a Key Account Manager denotes a person who knows how to plan their business effectively, to make sure that they are concentrating their time and effort influencing customers in the most important ‘accounts’, to ensure the best return on investment. Key Account Managers tend to be experienced sales people, who have good commercial acumen.
In the pharmaceutical industry, a KAM generally means a salesperson who influences Key Opinion Leaders in both secondary and primary care, within the hospitals and within the Practice Based Commissioning groups and within the Primary Care Trusts.
NHS Liaison/Business Development/Healthcare Development Manager
An NHS Liaison Manager is also sometimes called a Business Development Manager or a Healthcare Development Manager. These people tend to be very experienced sales people who have worked in primary and/or secondary care, before they are given the responsibility to represent their company with important customers working within the Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authority. This group of representatives ensures that the environment is favourable for your products in the local health economy. They present clinical data and also get involved in health economics to prove the value of the company’s portfolio.
In some organisations NHS Liaison Managers are considered to be non promotional representatives, working in partnership with the local Trusts. They try to support projects that benefit patients, to ensure that appropriate treatment guidelines are in place. Once these guidelines and patient pathways are in place, their colleagues in primary and secondary care will have a more favourable environment in which to promote their products. NHS Liaison Managers also tend to get involved in Market Access projects. When a new product is due to be launched, a company may have the NHS Liaison team working closely with key stakeholders for some years before the product promotion begins, to make sure that funding for the product is agreed and in place.
Healthcare Sales Territory Manager
A Healthcare Sales Territory Manager is responsible for selling the range of company products to key customers within a particular geography. These products may be for wound care, nutrition, devices and equipment, as well as consumables such as gloves and drapes, amongst other things. A Healthcare Sales Territory Manager may be required to sell to customers in both Primary and Secondary Care. They tend to be very commercial people, who are successful at ‘getting the order’.
As well as seeing clinical customers, Healthcare Territory Sales Managers will be involved in the procurement of a product range, and so will need to influence any customers involved in the purchasing chain. They may need to understand the full tendering and contracting process.
Nurse Advisor/Clinical Educator
A Nurse Advisor or Clinical Educator is a non promotional person who helps to ensure that patients are receiving the best care and management of their condition. They do not promote a company’s product, rather they ensure that patients, nurses and doctors are adequately educated, so that the most appropriate prescribing choice can be made. Nurse Advisors must be qualified nurses who can advise in a clinical setting.
Regional Account Director
Some pharmaceutical companies have changed their structure dramatically. Rather than employing a large team of Medical Sales Representatives, they choose rather to employ a smaller team of very experienced, senior Regional Account Directors. They are responsible for all business decisions in their own area, and will carry out the highest level negotiations with key customers with the aim of ensuring that their products are widely used.
A RAD has responsibility for profit and loss in their area, and they can choose to resource their business as they see fit. For example, if a RAD decides that they need an NHS Liaison Manager to work in a particular area for a period of time, or if they require promotional support, they can employ the necessary people. A RAD is a very high level KAM.
Commercial Managers are responsible for the distribution of a company’s promoted and non promoted product range. They negotiate with wholesalers, large retailers and dispensing accounts to make sure that the supply chains work efficiently. Commercial Managers are involved with the pricing of products, and they monitor and aim to minimise the trade in parallel imports that could affect the UK sales of a product portfolio. Commercial Managers are senior people within an organisation, and they tend to have come through the sales/sales management route, or they have perhaps been Product Managers working on the marketing of a range of products. They get involved with product licensing and co-promotion ventures with partner organisations.
Regional/Area Sales Manager
A Regional Sales Manager or Regional Business Manager, may also be known as an Area Sales Manager. Whatever the particular title within a company, this person is a man manager who will manage and lead a team of up to about 10 Medical Representatives. This 1st line manager is responsible for the sales of the company’s product range in their area, and their role is to help their direct reports to achieve their sales and performance objectives. A Regional Sales Manager may also manage Hospital Specialists and NHS Liaison Managers in a particular geography. The RSM is also responsible for the continuous development of all of the people in their team.
National Sales Manager
A National Sales Manager is usually a 2nd line manager, who manages the Regional Managers. They are senior people who have generally been sales and/or marketing managers themselves. The National Sales Manager is responsible for the overall sales performance of the company for a particular product range. They tend to report in to a Sales Director, and they carry out a strategic function, as well as leading and guiding the 1st line managers so that the best company sales performance is achieved. (Occasionally, the term National Sales Manager may apply to a 1st line manager who manages a specialist team covering the whole country).
Marketing (Both Junior & Senior level)
Marketing is an important function within any organisation. Most marketing managers will have either studied marketing at University, or they will have been promoted into a junior marketing role once they have been successful sales people in the field. Marketeers are often called Brand Managers, as they are responsible for the way that a particular brand is sold in the market. Brand Managers or Product Managers develop the marketing plans for products, so that customers receive a consistent set of messages about a product. They ensure that products are manufactured in the right volumes and are distributed so that they are available for usage, they use the results of clinical trials to apply for product licences (along with the Medical Director), and they develop marketing materials, such as detail aids and other materials to support the sales function in the field.
Training (Both Head Office & Field Based)
Training roles can be Head Office based or Field Based. Training Managers tend to have been sales people before they are promoted into these types of jobs. Trainers can be involved with sales training, KAM training and or disease area training on Initial Training Courses, as well as ongoing development plans. Trainers aim to develop improved performance by tailoring training courses to meet individuals’ needs. Field based trainers carry out field visits with sales people, so that they can observe their current performance, and they can help identify areas for development.
A GP/Hospital Representative is an ABPI qualified Medical Sales Representative who sells to customers in both primary and secondary care. GP/Hospital Representatives traditionally see their Primary care customers in the morning, and their secondary care customers in the afternoon. Their role is to build relationships with practice staff, doctors, nurses and pharmacists, to ensure that they create an environment where their products are most likely to be prescribed more frequently.
A GP/Hospital Representative is responsible for business planning, budgetary planning and targeting, to make sure that they sell to the ‘right people and see them the right number of times’. It is the role of the GP/Hospital Representative to implement the marketing plan in their area. They work closely with colleagues in their team sharing relevant information so that customers receive excellent service from the company, and so that product sales grow optimally.
Primary Care Representative
A Primary Care Representative is an ABPI qualified Medical Sales Representative who concentrates their efforts in the primary care setting, with customers who work in the primary care arena. They tend to see GP’s either during or after surgery in the morning, and see retail pharmacists and practice nurses in the afternoons.Their role is to build relationships with practice staff, doctors, nurses and retail pharmacists, to ensure that they create an environment where their products are most likely to be prescribed more frequently.
A Primary Care Representative is responsible for business planning, budgetary planning and targeting, to make sure that they sell to the ‘right people and see them the right number of times’. It is the role of the Primary Representative to implement the marketing plan in their area. They work closely with colleagues in their team, such as Hospital Specialists and NHS Liaison Managers, sharing relevant information so that customers receive excellent service from the company, and so that product sales grow optimally.
Graduate Trainee Sales Representative
A Graduate Trainee Sales Representative is a non ABPI qualified sales representative who is new to the role, and who is working towards their ABPI qualification.
Medical Scientific Liaison Manager
A Medical Scientific Liaison Manager or a Scientific Liaison Manager is a non promotional resource in a company. An MSL tends to be a very clinical person with a PhD, who can undertake peer to peer discussions with consultants and other KOL’s in the secondary care setting. As the MSL is non promotional, within the code of the ABPI they can answer medical questions on unlicensed indications, and can discuss disease management with authority and credibility.