An Interview with a District Manager

Press conference microphones isolated on whiteWelcome to Installment #3 of’s series titled: An Interview With….“.  In our first installment we interviewed an Account Manager from Specialty Pharma and in our second we interviewed a traditional pharma Territory Representative.  We will do our best to gain the insights of people who have been in various positions throughout their pharmaceutical career and ask them general questions about their thoughts on the current state of the pharma industry and the future of the industry.  The identities of our interviewees will remain private, with the aim of getting honest no frills answers to simple questions.  We are pleased to bring you our third installment which is an interview with a District Manager from traditional pharma. Enjoy!! What are your thoughts on the current state of the Pharmaceutical Industry?
District Manager: Pharmaceuticals has changed greatly in a short time.  From the days of dinners and trips to new regulations with physicians, now it’s all about adapting and doing less with more. Is it rewarding, lucrative and provide means for professional growth? Yes. Is there change, downsizing, worry and excitement for the next day? Yes.

Overall the industry has become more regulated, less accessible and harder to produce results in. To be truly successful one must be ready to network, problem solve, forecast accurately, and take no for an answer with resilience. The best representatives are not only those who can build relationships but those who use those relationships to develop results. In today’s pharma that can be difficult, but possible if you use your greatest resource in yourself.  For a young professional who is thinking about enetering Pharma Sales…..what advice would you give?
District Manager: Research is key. In my experience I have met many aspiring representatives who want this career without knowing what it truly entails. It’s hard work and you have to be business savvy, clinically smart, and network oriented.   Before interviewing, do the work and look into the industry, company, and territory that you are hoping for. Come to the interview table with a strong sense of purpose, and if you don’t have prior sales experience make sure you can speak to transferable skill (I.e. Anything from your past roles that would make you successful).  Talk to anyone you may know in the industry and gain a good understanding of their day to day.  How has the Pharma Industry changed in your opinion over the length of your career?
District Manager: More regulations, less access, less resources, and a greater expectation on results. On the positive note it has gotten more specialized which allows for continued growth and an expansion of skill sets.  Pharma is shifting to big companies buying the small to bolster their pipeline and therapeutic areas. It will be interesting to see how it continues to adapt with great scrutiny and government regulation.  What do you see as the future of the Pharma Industry?
District Manager: The future of pharma will be less in the retail space and more in specialty products, specialty areas, and will adapt to a buy and bill or specialty pharmacy model. This can be seen with the current adaptions to the affordable care act and how doctors are moving more into institutional settings. It is hard for private practice doctors to continue given new changes and restrictions as well as the reductions in reimbursement state and federal plans. Again for many reps to remain successful they will need to adapt their mindset and make sound business choices with a smaller target list to deliver results.  If you could go back and do it all over again….would this be the industry that you choose again, and if not why?
District Manager: Without a doubt it would be. This industry can be challenging and unforgiving but also rewarding. In some days you may not agree with a change or a decision, but it is how you react, adapt, and grow that makes you successful.  I have had a lot of positions and several companies but in each role I continue to grow and learn from those around me.  It has been rewarding both personally and financially and has truly tested my skills daily.

So there you have it…..keep an eye out for our next installment!!

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