Who are Medical Representatives?

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Medical sales representatives are widely referred to as MR. They play as a key link between medical and pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals.An MR sells a company’s products, which include medicines, prescription drugs and medical equipment, among a variety of customer i.e. general practitioners (GPs), hospital doctors, pharmacists and nurses. Besides, MRs have to work strategically in order to increase the awareness as well as the use of a company’s pharmaceutical and medical products.Generally, MRs are based in a specific geographical location and specialized in a particular product or medical area. Moreover, they may have to make presentations and organize group events for healthcare professionals, as well as working with contacts on a one-to-one basis. The main responsibility of an MR is to conduct the promotion of a product (Tripathi, 2018).

1.2 Global Pharmaceuticals MarketIn 2017, the global pharmaceuticals market was worth $934.8 billion and assumingly, it will reach $1170 billion within 2021, at a growing rate of 5.8%, as per a recent pharmaceutical market research report by The Business Research Company.This is a more rapid pace compared to 5.2% for the years before 2017, whereas is much slower than the other two large healthcare segments, which are medical equipment and healthcare services. Healthcare as a whole is growing at over 7% year on year.Over the past decades, growth only meant that North America and Western Europe still account for 56% of the global market, but Asia Pacific has overtaken Western Europe as the second largest region in the recent present. Growth in Asia Pacific is accelerated by increased affordability of drugs resulting from the launch of low-priced generics.

Other positive factors for growth in Asia Pacific are the rise of GDP per capita in the region, government programs to support healthcare, and rapid urbanization, which as a result, brings both doctors and pharmacies within easy reach of increasing proportions of growing populations. Assumingly, Pharmaceutical sales in Asia Pacific will grow at 8.4% a year to 2021. Figure 1.2: Factors affecting global pharmaceutical market.The USA, by itself worth 25% of the global total, is restraining global growth by rising at below 5% a year, while the much smaller pharma markets of India and China are both achieving double that pace (The Business Research Company, 2018).

1.3 Pharmaceutical Market in BangladeshThe pharmaceutical industry is one of the growing sectors of Bangladesh economy, which contributes 1% to the country’s GDP and is the third largest industry regarding contribution to government revenue. The current market size is about 12,100 million with having almost persistently double-digit growth. The market, in the present time, is almost self-sufficient in meeting local demand. According to the analysis, 97% of the drugs are manufactured locally and is also being exported to 92 countries. At present, there are 267 licensed pharmaceutical companies in Bangladesh for manufacturing various pharmaceutical products. The prescriptions of doctors mainly run the market, and company personnel i.e. medical sales representatives try to motivate doctors to prescribe their company brands by personal selling, clinical meetings, seminars, symposia, etc (pharmamirror.com, 2016). Figure 1.3: Pharmaceutical export growth of Bangladesh (boomingbangladesh.com).

Medical sales representatives are a strategic link between healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies. They promote the sale of the products manufactured by their employer companies.The products include medicines, prescription drugs and medical equipment, which are being promoted to a full range of professionals from pharmacists and nurses to general practitioners and hospital doctors. They work very tactfully to increase the awareness and use as well as sells of promoted products (pharmamirror.com, 2016).

1.4 Promotional MarketingIn marketing term, promotion refers to any type of marketing communication which used to inform and persuade target audiences of the relative worth of a product, service, brand or issue. The aim of promotion is to increase awareness, generate sales and create interest or brand loyalty. It is one of the basic elements of the market mix, which includes the four Ps, i.e., product, price, place, and promotion. Promotion is also one of the major elements in the promotional mix or promotional plan. These include personal selling, advertising, sales promotion, and publicity. Besides, it may also include event marketing, exhibitions and trade shows. It is the promotional plan that specifies how much attention to pay to each of the elements in the promotional mix, and what proportion of the budget should be allocated to each element. Promotion sums up the methods of communication that a marketer needs to use in order to provide information about the product. Information can be both verbal and visual (Mulhem, 2009).The term promotion derives from the Old French, promocion which means to “move forward””