Pharmaceutical Representatives: Tips for Building Strong Physician Practice Relations

By Dr. Charles Gold, Optometrist, New York, NY

Doctors Shaking Businessperson Hand

When a pharmaceutical representative enters my office, I expect one thing: that they add value to my practice. Working with a pharmaceutical representative is all about building a relationship. We want to feel that you know our practice and our staff. We want to see that you have something to offer us – beyond free samples. For any pharmaceutical representative looking to better their physician practice approach, here are my top two tips:

Get to know the staff. Too often, pharmaceutical representatives walk into an office and head right for the doctor. The is not the right approach at all! Instead, take some time and get to know the practice staff. Be sure to write down every staff member’s name and maybe even a brief description if it will be helpful for you.

Then, the next time you visit the doctor’s office, review your notes and make a point of using their names in your conversations. This will go a very long way in standing out and making an impression on the people who work very hard – and are often the individuals entering the prior authorizations (PAs) for your prescriptions!

Be helpful and offer advice. This can be as simple as reviewing the office’s website or as detailed as providing a new vendor service to the office.

Consider this: it is becoming more and more difficult to run a practice, and prior authorizations are definitely among the time-consuming challenges we face.  If you offer a value add – such as a prior authorization service vendor – you’re likely to catch the office’s attention. Doctor’s offices are going to favor companies that work with PA service providers like PARx. They’re easier to deal with. They make getting PAs approved easier and quicker. And they help us keep our patients happy!

Plus, by offering a PA service provider, you as a pharmaceutical representative are opening the door to new information. Some of the best reps I see in my office are the ones who come in, say hello to my staff, maybe bring lunch, and check in to see how PAs are progressing in the office. Are they being approved? Which medications are most denied, and what are the common reasons given? By reviewing this information, the reps are able to learn more about our practice, They are able to offer insight and prove their worth to both me and my staff.

Today, in order to be truly successful in establishing a relationship with a physician practice, pharmaceutical representatives must add value!