Business Marketing Case in Medical Sales Careers

This case in medical sales careers looks at a scenario in the hormone replacement therapy market for menopausal women. The market leader had been a blockbuster for years but later it was made more publicly aware that the product is derived from hormones extracted from horse urine. As more and more women were becoming more eco-friendly, this news did not go over too well with many of them.At the same time, a pharmaceutical company re-introduced a rather dormant product that was a hormone replacement drug to compete with the market leader. Both drugs relieved menopausal discomfort symptoms in female patients. But the interesting thing about this re-introduced drug was that rather than being derived from horse urine, it was sourced from a soybean plant. Chemically, it was altered to be identical to the estrogen hormone found in humans.So in essence, this drug was considered more ‘natural’ than the market leader in two ways. First, rather than subjecting live horses to a urine extraction process and then using a product derived from horse urine, this other drug was made from plants. Secondly, rather than being a cocktail of horse hormones, this other product was identical to the human estrogen which implied that its use would not involve putting a foreign substance into the human body.News about this alternative to the market leader made its way around groups of menopausal women and they wanted to switch to this drug rather than stay on something made from ‘horse pee’.Medical sales reps for this alternative drug went to see their physician customers and promoted the natural aspects. They also made physicians aware of published clinical studies which proved that the ‘natural’ drug resulted in a lower rate of side effects as well when compared to the market leader, possibly due to its identical chemical structure to the human hormone.Many physicians, particularly female doctors, embraced this alternative right away by starting all newly diagnosed patients on this drug and offering a switch for existing patients currently on the market leader. The medical sales reps also asked physicians whether they were getting requests from patients for the natural drug and most admitted that there was indeed patient demand out there.So these medical sale representatives did a smart thing by reinforcing the existing patient demand for their product. Most doctors, even the resistant ones, did give in and switched their patients to the more natural drug when their patients requested it. This alternative drug to the market leader became first line therapy for many physicians and did put a dent in the sales of the market leader.The LessonThe lesson from this case is that patient demand can be a very powerful weapon in medical sales and this example actually showed how a once dormant drug can become a major competitor to a market leader. Smart drug reps used patient demand to their advantage without offending their physician customers.I was one of the drug reps that sold this natural drug discussed in this case and later became the product manager for it. It was one of the most enjoyable drug products I’ve ever worked with. The concept of using patient demand is similar to using referrals in your medical sales careers search. With people recommending you for a position, you can put a major dent in your own competition for the jobs.Learning how to get the right people to refer you for medical sales careers is taught in the book and audio program “How To Get A Dream Job In Pharmaceutical Sales – Direct Inside Advice and Guidance from a Sales Manager”.

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