Issues in Developing Effective In-House Sales Training Programs

Edmund S. Yang

For many pharmaceutical companies, in-house training is a common practice in the development 18.03In-houseTrainingof their sales and marketing people. Starting early on during orientation, medical representatives (or med reps) undergo training that is focused on the medical and technical aspects of the products. Often, it includes topics like basic anatomy, physiology and pharmacology since not every aspiring medical representative has attended medical undergraduate course. In most cases, this type of training is competitive in nature eliminating those who fail to reach certain standards and thus reaching regular employment status.

The practice is done by many pharmaceutical companies since med reps must be sufficiently knowledgeable and confident in discussing their products when detailing to doctors. However, that’s where most efforts in training end.

What training programs companies give their sales and marketing people now depends on how the company sees continuing training, education and development would impact on the people’s ability to promote the business. For some, in-house training is part of the program given to people to support the company’s sales and marketing objectives and strategies.

This article will review some issues faced by companies is adopting a strategic approach to espousing or developing programs that apply to the company’s needs and how these programs match with the overall sales and marketing objectives.

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Developing Product Marketing Strategies via Differentiation

Edmund Sarte Yang


We’ve probably heard it before when you first begin your career in marketing. 

Market differentiation is the key to setting your product apart from competition. Often we immediately look for the distinct features and benefits of the product. As reality sets in, differentiating your product from hundreds of similar products can be very challenging and even very frustrating at times especially for ‘me too’ pharma product.  


Traditional pharma marketers look for the product’s features which often

are the technical specifications of the product based on clinical studies, pharmacological tests and laboratory results. Unfortunately, unless you really have a new molecule, a patented delivery system or similar features, the distinctive feature is often illusive. Thus, many end up with similar

claims of effectiveness, speed of action, safety, convenience and similar product claims. However, a review of most products in the market today may have about the same claims as yours. Thus, your supposed differentiating advantage in reality is not there.  

Then, how does one rise above the clutter or products with similar claims? In this article, we will look at the other options and possibilities that are worth considering.


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Registering Pharmaceutical Products in the Philippines

Edmund S. Yang

registrationThe first step before any commercialization starts for pharmaceutical products in the Philippines is to get the product registration approval and certificate from the Philippine Food & Drug Administration (PFDA). The Certificate of Product Registration (or CPR) is awarded to pharma traders and distributors with an initial validity period of two years. A common question though is raised as to how long does it take for a pharmaceutical product to get registered from the time of submission of the required documents to actual approval – a scenario also often observed in other countries.

There is no simple answer as the review and feedback given by the regulatory agency on the submitted registration papers will determine whether further documents are needed to substantiate and support information and claims of the product. However, from experience, the average registration time for pharmaceutical products takes between 1 - 2 years before approval is granted with the corresponding issuance of the CPR.

By understanding the process and the realities that go with registering pharmaceutical products in the Philippines, companies applying for the CPR can work out a more realistic marketing plan and timetable for launching their products. Let’s review the process as to how product registration is conducted in the Philippines and the preparation needed to have the product approved for commercialization. 

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