Any recommendations on how to get into pharma? I am an account director in the Philadelphia area looking to make a move. Any suggestions, recommended reading, networking events etc.?

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I have worked on ingestible products, medical devices and healthcare. My career started in casino so regulations aren’t new to me. I have been around it but never direct pharma. I will try to see if I can connect with anyone at a agency locally. Any good networking events to recommend?


OP, perhaps since pharma is always looking to hire you could reach out and explore opportunities and maybe join a tight team that can help teach you the intricacies while you help lead in a more senior role. The concern is at this level it's more about performing a consultative role to clients which is tough if you're not an SME. I'm not even talking about evaluating creative content and if it meets the font size required by the FDA regulations. I'm referring to knowing the industry well, product launch intricacies, drug development phases, how pharma works with Dr and sells to hospitals, pharmacy contracts and retail versus wholesale, the various clinical trials lingo, sales reps strategies when carrying multiple product lines, blah blah. I assume you'd be expected to navigate and be comfortable having such convos with clients and all the industry jargon rolling off your tongue. But you might be able to get in on the DTC side more easily first. And definitely on a medical device account which is very interesting to me always. And go from there.


Try really hard to avoid it and sooner or later it will inevitably suck you in. Especially if you're over 40...


Pharma’s a tough space to jump into. I’ve grown up in it and it’s still crazy to grasp, but definitely see if you can network with contacts in nearby healthcare agencies. Razorfish Health is headquartered in Philly, and there’s NY offices for Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, Intouch Solutions and more. When it comes to reading up, FiercePharma and BioPharmaDive are my bibles.


Ooh... Philly has lots of pharma but it will be hard to enter at this level... Do you have any health experience of any kind? And do you have any contacts or do any of your contacts have contacts at healthcare agencies that you could talk to?


I think at the level you’re at it might be difficult to jump right in if you have no experience. Honestly there’s no reading to prepare you for a job like that. Check out evoke in philly they have a New York office also

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