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Product Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry: Roles, Career Importance & Skillset

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27th Aug, 2020
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Product Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry: Roles, Career Importance & Skillset

Product management in the pharmaceutical industry serves an important role as it not only strategizes an organization’s marketing strategy of products but also implements it. Right from pre-launch and launch campaigning of products to post-launch marketing aspects are handled thoroughly by the vertical called ‘Product management in the pharmaceutical industry’.

Every product in the pharmaceutical industry goes through typical 4 phases of the life cycle which are Introduction, growth, saturation, and decline or stable phase. Product management in the pharmaceutical industry plays a vital role in all 4 phases of the product life cycle. It is responsible for the top line (gross revenue generation) along with the sales team and bottom line (EBITA which is revenue before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) targets of a pharmaceutical organization.

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Who Comprises Product Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry? 

Depending upon the size and revenue of the organization, the hierarchical structure of the product management in the pharmaceutical industry may differ. Typically, it consists of.

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  • Product executives (1 or 2 years experience) or sometimes management trainee (fresher), 
  • Associate product manager or product manager (3 to 5 years experience), 
  • Group product manager (5 to 8 years experience), 
  • Marketing manager (9 to 12 years experience), 
  • General manager (12 to 15 years experience), 
  • Director or VP marketing or sales and marketing, ( 1 5 to 18 years experience) 
  • President of sales and marketing ( 19 to 22 or more years of experience) 

Read: A complete guide on product manager career path

Roles and Responsibilities of Product Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry 

The primary role of Product Management in the pharmaceutical industry is to manage the existing product line of the pharmaceutical organization, brand establishment and brand building and also new product launching and strategy for pipeline products and execution.

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Below are Roles Assigned to Product Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry 

  • Providing training, product knowledge, direction to the field sales team to ensure that they are well equipped with scientific and communication skills both. 
  • Product Management in the pharmaceutical industry has to work with cross-functional teams like medical affairs, learning and development team, R & D team (Research & Development) in the process.
  • Developing brand plans/strategies for the product range along with market penetration strategy along with market research and competitor analysis.
  • SWOT analysis of product line (strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats) and guiding sales team to tap the opportunities and growth in the product sale.
  • Creating brand inputs for promotion like VA, LBL, Newsletter, flipcharts, or digital campaigns like website or app launch or webinar series, etc.
  • Conducting meetings, scientific symposia, CMEs, conferences, and ensuring brand visibility in the target audience segment of the pharmaceutical industry, which are healthcare professionals and hospitals.
  • Motivating sales team members by organizing training camps, award ceremonies, and recognition programs.
  • Product forecasting, New product pipeline strategy, new product pre-launch, and launch strategy and post-launch, new initiatives for product growth strategy.

In short, as per Phillip Kotler’s ‘’4P” strategy, the ‘Product Management in Pharmaceutical Industry’ closely works and coordinates with all 4 Ps of the pharmaceutical industry which are product, price, people and place and ensure the brand gets established in the market and organization achieves its revenue with both top-line and bottom-line targets.  

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Skill sets of Product Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry 

  • Product Knowledge
  • Creativity and analytical skills
  • Market research and intelligence to tap competitor analysis
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to work and liaise with cross-functional teams
  • Team building
  • Forecasting and visionary approach
  • Sales management and leadership skills

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Career Prospects in Product Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry

This is a liberal domain which gives a vast experience of cross-functional teams. The doors of other domains like sales, learning, and training, R & D team, along with hierarchical growth options, will open. The other professionals from clinical research, pharmacovigilance, production, and quality control can also join this segment if they successfully acquire innovation, creative and marketing aptitude. 

Read: Product management jobs and their career prospects.

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Why Does Product Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry Have Significance?

  • Product Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry, along with the sales team is responsible for achieving the top line and bottom line revenue target of an organization.
  • Brand establishment, brand building, and brand consolidation is the forte of the Product Management of the Pharmaceutical Industry.
  • Creates a platform for new product launch and market penetration strategy and ensures implementation.
  • On the basis of market research, intelligence, and competitor mapping, Product Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry carves a niche strategy of product establishment in the pharmaceutical industry by creating good networking and liaising with healthcare professionals, KOLs, and hospitals and ensures implementation by the sales team.

Check out: Average Product Manager Salary in India

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Summing up

In a nutshell, Product Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry is the bridge between the appropriate target audience of the pharmaceutical industry and the sales team. This field has immense potential to progress in the near future. 

If you’re eager to learn about Product Management and interested to become a great product manager, you need to demonstrate qualities of leadership, check out the Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management  for it is you who’ll guide your team towards the path of success


Jitesh Goel

Blog Author
Jitesh is an experienced Growth Product Manager with a demonstrated history of working in successful startups and expertise in the education-technology domain. His core skills are in analyzing, designing and architecting products to improve user experience and help scale businesses.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Is a career in the pharmaceutical industry good?

Pharma is one of the most crucial and stable sectors in the world. There are various interesting areas of specializations in diverse domains in this field, starting from product development, research, and design to innovation, distributing and manufacture of drugs, and advanced support of the entire healthcare sector. The demand for qualified and proficient pharmacists has skyrocketed over the years, leading to excellent employment opportunities worldwide. There are various benefits of working in the pharma industry, starting from handsome salaries, career and job satisfaction to growth, research opportunities flexibility, diversity in work culture, and access to highly sophisticated technologies.

2Which industries should you consider for product management jobs?

With the rapid advancement in technology, giving rise to innovative products across all the different industries, companies are always looking for deserving professionals to identify scopes and defects in the highly dynamic industries of today. Jobs in the field of product management are lucrative not only in terms of salaries they offer but also for the scope of professional growth they offer. Some of the best industries to consider when you are looking for product manager jobs are healthcare, automobile, entertainment, banking and finance, consumer goods, biochemicals, and information technology, among others.

3What are the roles and responsibilities of a Director of Product?

The role of the Director of Product can be one of the highest executive persons in product management, depending on the size of the organization. Giant organizations often have multiple Directors of Product who report to the Vice President of Product. The Director of Product does not directly work hands-on in projects but is engaged mainly in planning, leadership, and strategizing functions. They will be directing the overall product management personnel and departments in an organization, where all the product managers will be reporting to them. The Director usually reports to the topmost C-Suite executives.