Linda Hertz Group

My Medical Device Sales Career

NAPRx - National Association of Pharmaceutical Reps - Real or Scam?

This is an open blog to the the members of the Linda Hertz Group:


A bit about me.  I was a successful Real Estate Agent for over a decade working in a small town near Santa Barbara.  With the downturn in the economy and the crises in the real estate market I was forced to find a new career path.  I joined a great company and had two successful years as an Opthalmic Sales Rep, in Los Angeles, until the company downsized its entire sales force.  With the Real Estate market still floundering, I have been seeking out a new career.  Now I should say that I feel very fortunate to have found another job to pay the bills, but its not in sales, and certainly not nearly as lucrative, challenging or exciting as a working in sales and marketing.  One of the main reasons I enjoyed being a sales rep was meeting new people everyday, the thrill of landing the next big sale and financial rewards that come with hard work.


This brings me to the reason why I've written this blog.  I have four close friends who are either Pharmaceutical Sales Reps or Medical Device Reps. All have said I would be fantastic in either industry as I have the drive, desire and talent needed to be successful.  After hearing them out I decided to do some research into breaking into either field.  It has not been an easy process as it seems most companies are looking for seasoned experienced reps or salespeople who have b2b experience.  After submitting my resume to, and a few other sites I was sent an email by the NAPRx.  This email stated very clearly that "The NAPRx® is widely known for its CNPR® Certification Program which provides vocational education for individuals looking to enter a pharmaceutical sales career".  They say they are even accredited!  "Students can take the course directly through the NAPRx® by correspondence/online or it is also offered through over 300 colleges and universities(schools include: Ohio State University, University of Texas, Rutgers University, University of Mississippi, Indiana University, University of Colorado, plus hundreds more!!)"  It seemed to make sense.  I signed up, for free, to receive more information and proceeded to call a my friends for advice on which program to take.


The programs they offer range from under $69 to $329 depending on how many options you wanted.  I wasn't sure if I really needed the priciest option so I reached out to my friends for advice.  The were unanmous in their opinions....none had ever heard of the NAPRx and all said that you don't need certification to become a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep or a Medical Device Rep.  I decided not to pay for the certification, but have been bombarded, daily, with emails from the NAPR saying that they have "Hundreds" of positions that need to be filled immediately and they you need to be certified before you can apply!  This just seems very fishy!  


I have tried to break into the industry for the last two months with no success.  After sending out over a hundred resumes I either get no response back or I receive e-mails stating I am just not qualified for the position.  I have had one telephone interview with Lilly.  Afterwards I received an email from Lilly letting me know that they are looking for a more qualified and seasoned rep.  


So my big question is ... how does one break into the industry with no prior experience and is the NAPRx a scam or a legitimate source to become educated and qualified to break into the business?  Are there jobs available?  I would sincerely appreciate any helpful advice.  I am willing to train, relocate or do whatever it takes to have a long successful career, but I don't want to waste time and $350 on a certification that I don't need!  






Views: 8305

Tags: B2B Sales, NAPRX, career advice, pharmaceutical industry


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Comment by John Blair on March 19, 2011 at 5:34pm
Linda I think it would be a very valuable resource. 
Comment by Linda Hertz on March 19, 2011 at 10:23am

Hi John, thanks for getting back to me, actually that is a good point and I need to capture that in one of my blogs..I tell Job Candidates to make a separate email for branding and recruiting themselves during their job hunt phase and to have the email be their name ie:  Then if spammers get least it is going to one spot.  I have 2 emails for receiving resumes on job posts because of spammers for my business.  I have 2 personal for stock and business information and the other for personal emails that I don't look at too much (non-urgent).  It is all separated from me and grouped together by importance and topic.   So I guess I am sharing this now for people who would like some additional ideas.


On the other topic...that is great for me to hear that BtoB people need a listing of companies...I can do that in different Groupings on this site by company type: Pharma, Medical Device, Medical Disposable, Bio and etc. with links to their financials and news feeds.  I think that could be a cool resource for people..even non BtoB.


What do you think?  It would take me time...but I could build it over time on the site.  Thoughts?

Comment by John Blair on March 18, 2011 at 7:47pm
Not sure how they got my email but there is an unsubscribe link on the bottom of both this one and the NAPRX mentioned above.  Honestly though as an outsider, I liked reading the emails to get the names of medical companies. Also, I would point out I read very early on in my search that you should set up a search specific email that you only use for this and it should include your full name.  I thought it was good advice and keep a completely separate email for search purposes and when I find the ideal position for me I will just quit using it.    
Comment by Linda Hertz on March 18, 2011 at 7:18am

Thanks for everyone's comments!  John, I have a question for you.....I have heard of others who sign up for something free on a career site or just to register then they get pelted with emails forever.   First, how did RMSR get your email and is there a place where you can turn off their email from coming to you?  The reason I ask, I have had people tell me they had to get rid of their main email because once they were done doing a job search....they received emails from job boards and services that just would not stop.   Is there a place on the emails being sent to you to delete yourself from their mailing?

Comment by John Blair on March 13, 2011 at 5:32pm
Lonnie, as a fellow outsider looking to transition into medical sales I have received the same emails and they come everyday.  I would caution you on the RMSR certification that Linda mentions as well.  Thanks to all the rest of you for your helpful comments for those of us just trying to break in.
Comment by Robert Cummings on February 25, 2011 at 6:36pm
I agree with everyone, the NAPR is not worth it. I have 10 years of experience as a Pharma DSM and never asked anyone for a NAPR certification. I wanted candidates that had Pharma or B2B selling experience and could show success meeting/exceeding goals. We teach you the clinical information and how to sell it. There is no need to pay for a certification test. If you want to break into Pharmaceuticals, go to your family physician and ask for names of sales specialists that call on Him/Her. Then give them a call and ask if you could ride along with them for a day. After you finish the ride along send them a thank you note and ask if they would forward your resume to the hiring manager. I always would interview candidates my sales specialist sent me for a position. Plus most companies offer a referral bonus to the specialist if you stay employed for a certain period of time. Good Luck in your search. Unfortunately there is a lot of competition right now for jobs in the industry due to the massive layoffs.
Comment by Brian K. Horban on February 25, 2011 at 2:45pm

I too have looked at changing careers and moving into the Medical or Pharma sales arena.

I looked at the NAPRx certifications as well but before I just jumped on to the bandwagon, I looked them up and I was glad that I did. I too found out through the help of a recruiter that this certification is useless in the field.

I have been in the construction sales arena for over ten years now and I am also looking for a career change. I wouldnt waste your time Lonnie, simply keep plugging away, find a good recruiter and shoot for the best!


Good luck to you! I feel your pain with the career search!! I was laid off over a month ago and I have sent out over a hundred resumes but nothing yet!!




Comment by Linda Hertz on February 24, 2011 at 4:31pm

Elizabeth...this sounds like another RSMR training at NAMSR for the same type of thing..taking candidates money (typically people outside the medical sales or pharma industry from our industry who think these Certifications will get them a job).  So is this NAPRx like another NAMSR: getting money from unknowing candidates for something that is worth NOTHING to the hiring companies? 

Last time I went after NAMSR on forum, as you know and predicted, they tried to trash my reputation (quite laughable since many in the industry know my background...after all we worked together all those years!).  I have decided to heck with it, I am going to comment on Lonnie's Blog and mention NAMSR...because I don't want people spending good money on crappy meaningless certificates! 


If there is anyone within this Linda Hertz Group that has positive or negative information I would welcome the comments....the forum is loaded with NAMSR SPAM from the owners of the company who register multiple false names with just first name and an initial.  


Please, I would welcome any Members who have had a Positive or Negative experience with either of these companies....



Comment by Elizabeth Danford on February 24, 2011 at 3:18pm

Lonnie, please listen to your friends with industry experience!  I have coached a great number of candidates during the transition into medical/pharmaceutical sales and have never had one candidate be asked to obtain a certification.  Candidates that do have NAPRx on their resumes are asked what it is and why they would do that.  From what I have observed, the jobs they post are posted on company websites and those companies have no idea that they are being advertised by NAPRx. (I have also had candidates interviewed and hired at companies that the NAPRx people say require their certification.)  The certification you receive from this program will not get your resume opened or give you credibility.  This is a very competitive market and to get noticed you have to be aggressive.  The good news is that candidates with no experience can and do get jobs (I have worked with six that accepted positions since January) so please don't become discouraged!

Elizabeth Danford

President, Clinical Strategies & Resume Writing



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