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BioPharma Sales Reps Salaries 2022 and 2023 Industry Trends

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Average salaries for full-time employees grew at a rate of 8% from 2021 to 2022, outpacing the 6% growth rate seen from 2020 to 2021. Two percent doesn’t sound like much until you realize it is a 33% increase over the previous year! This wage growth is impacting BioPharma Sales Reps base salaries, too. It is pushing the edges of the range. BioPharma Sales Reps base salaries can go from $100K all the way to $200K+.

Why such a huge range in BioPharma Sales Reps base salaries?

Compensation depends on therapeutic area, primary vs. specialty vs. hospital target customer and whether or not your product treats an orphan disease. The largest base salaries are being seen in oncology, especially for targeted therapies at startups and smaller biotech companies. These firms also offer the promise or possibility of a large equity payout.

Interestingly, the bonus structure has remained fairly consistent over the years ranging from a $30K annual target to $55K. This is also impacted by therapeutic area but the real shift is in BioPharma Sales Reps base salaries and the expectations of top talent.

2023 Industry Trends for BioPharma Sales Reps

COVID-19 Pandemic

Biopharma sales reps were dramatically impacted by the pandemic. Sales Reps who had been successful in-person now had to find a way to match that success over the phone or over Zoom. It wasn’t just their technology skill set that was stretched. Their target audiences were new to this sort of process. Zoom lunches with front office workers and doctors just didn’t feel as informative and successful as they were in-person. The most successful sales reps had to get very creative to get their message out. With the recent return to the field, most sales reps are breathing a sigh of relief to get down to business.

New Models for Launch Success

Here again the pandemic had significant impact. Because the FDA prioritized review of COVID vaccines and treatments other products were put on the back burner and became part of the FDA backlog. A delayed launch negatively impacts employment opportunities for sales reps. Biopharma companies have relied on successfully launching new drugs to drive growth. Novel treatment modalities, increased use of biomarkers, declining access to physicians, digitalization, more informed patients, rising shareholder expectations and the need to launch globally are all making successful launches difficult.

Changes to Medicare Access and Reimbursement

Federal government redesign of Medicare drug pricing and reimbursement policies is shifting the responsibility from patients to manufacturers and payers. Payers will probably seek to tighten formularies even more and manufacturers will see an upward shift in specialty product liabilities. Out-of-pockets spending caps will make it easier for patients to stay on higher-cost therapies throughout the year, versus enduring the copay fluctuations that many experience before these changes. These changes should be positive for the sales reps careers, but until it is completely implemented it is an unknown.

Interested in a conversation about your career or your hiring needs? As always, Smith Hanley Associates is happy to be your recruiting resource for Commercial and Clinical opportunities in healthcare.

Reach out to:
Nancy Ragonese, Smith Hanley Practice Lead
Pharmaceutical Commercial Sales
nragonese@smithhanley.com, 203.525-3815

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