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Why It Works

Pharmaceutical knowledge is the basic building block in securing relationships with physician customers.

A career in pharmaceutical sales requires an individual to be able to communicate technical pharmacology and medical information to physicians and pharmacists. A pharmaceutical sales representative must have knowledge of: general medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and clinical pharmacology.

The association provides education and training to serious candidates who desire a career in pharmaceutical sales. This education and the CNPR Certificaton - Pharmaceutical Sales Training Program provides the applicant with a beneficial foundation for their entry into the pharmaceutical sales profession. 

Pharmaceutical companies prefer their new hires to understand pharmacology, medical terminology, selling guidelines, understanding relevant disease areas and much more before they are sent into the field. The CNPR Certification - Pharmaceutical Sales Training Program covers "need to know" information about diseases and pharmacology products. New hires will ultimately be expected to understand: disease background; anatomy and physiology to the disease; signs, symptoms, and diagnostic procedures; current treatment alternatives; drug efficacy, product information; clinical studies; and how to sell products.

Students need to thoroughly study the CNPR Pharmaceutical Sales Training Manual to become prepared to sit for the CNPR examination. For the average student it takes about 60-80 hours of study time to successfully pass the CNPR examination. Once a student passes the CNPR examination they should contact pharmaceutical companies.  Since 2002 the National Association of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives has also provided a Career Center to it members with contacts to numerous pharmaceutical companies. Many pharmaceutical companies advertise in the Career Center as they seek the associaton members and CNPR graduates for interviews.

If you have any questions concerning the CNPR Pharmaceutical Sales Entry Level Training Program, please email us at



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