Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date

Spring 4-9-2021

City of Publication or Presentation


Conference Name

Marketing Educators' Association Spring 2021 Conference

Conference Location



An undergraduate Healthcare Sales student wanted to understand the pharmaceutical (pharma) industry better to determine if the industry was a good fit. She approached her professor to gain support for an independent study to understand better the history and challenges of selling in the pharma industry. Once completed, the pair recognized this information's value and collaborated in editing the document to share these findings to provide this entry-level salesperson's guide to understanding the pharma industry. Six semi-structured interviews of pharma professionals showed three primary areas of knowledge and ethics required of the entry-level pharma industry salesperson. These suggestions are for the salesperson to 1) focus on patient safety, 2) establish trust-based relationships, and 3) comply with industry guidelines. The study concludes with an overview of three prominent industry guidelines: the PhRMA Code, the Sunshine Act, and the Fair Balance practices.

Link to URL of accompanying or supplemental material