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Pharmaceutical Marketing Colleges

by Connie Jankowski

A career in pharmaceutical marketing provides constant opportunities to keep abreast of the latest healthcare developments, to travel to conferences and meet movers and shakers, and to demonstrate your abilities to meet goals and increase brand awareness. These fast-paced careers require a solid foundation in marketing and specific knowledge about drugs and medical management. Finding the right pharmaceutical marketing college can put you on the path to an exciting career.

A Career in Pharmaceutical Marketing

The business of managing pharmaceuticals offers challenge and rewards.

Pharmaceutical sales and marketing professionals fill a variety of needs for large and small healthcare companies. These tasks can include direct sales, calling on the doctors who prescribe the specific medications in a company's portfolio, developing marketing strategies for a product line, working with advertising and public relations professionals to secure media attention, developing trade show programs, working with leading scientists to support drug claims, and supervising those who perform these tasks. With the breadth of tasks involved, an education that provides tools for these tasks is essential for success.

Educational Path

Pharmaceutical sales positions require a variety of skills.

Although an employer will provided ongoing training to ensure that their representatives understand the drugs that they will present to healthcare professionals, the ideal candidate for a job in pharmaceutical sales has completed coursework in both science and business. Programs in pharmaceutical marketing are difficult to find, but the major is offered at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels at various colleges. For example, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia offers a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmaceutical and healthcare business and an MBA in pharmaceutical and healthcare business.

Finding a Program

Science classes prepare students for a career in pharmaceutical marketing.

Progressive colleges have devised concentrated programs for pharmaceutical business students. DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, grants bachelor’s degrees; and Aspen University in Denver has an MBA program with this concentration. Ohio Northern University and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston award degrees through the doctorate level. Training in each program includes the areas of pharmaceutical and healthcare economics, and drug and health policy. Some colleges have similar programs under the banner of chemistry management or healthcare management. Carefully read the course descriptions of colleges that interest you; you might find a good fit.

Alternative Routes

Don't give up if your school doesn't offer the pharmaceutical marketing degree.

If your school does not offer a degree in pharmaceutical marketing, consider designing your own major. Some universities allow these personalized majors if a faculty member will sponsor the student and assure that the educational plan is worthy of awarding a degree upon completion of courses. You should complete the requirements for a business degree and supplement with electives in the sciences. Consider petitioning for first-year pharmacy classes, or research pharmaceuticals as part of a thesis or research project. Be sure to arrange for an internship as part of your education. Your resume and letters to prospective employers should outline your preparation and relevant coursework.

About the Author

Connie Jankowski began writing in 1987. She has published articles in "Dog Fancy" and "The Orange County Register," among others. Areas of expertise include education, health care and pets. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Pittsburgh.

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