Member Spotlight – David Fitzpatrick – Territory Sales Manager – Pfizer

Tell us a little bit about your career background?
My first qualification was in accountancy from Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, specialising in Financial Accounting. I then went on to complete a Bachelor of Commerce degree at NUIG, specialising in Marketing.

Before joining the world of Pharmaceuticals I worked with AIB in the Anti-Money Laundering Unit. Here I was responsible for the extensive investigation of suspicious account transactions, liaising with the Gardai, The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), Revenue Commissioners and Branch Management.

How long have you been working in healthcare sales?
My first role in the industry began in 2007 with Helsinn Birex, starting out in a dual role covering both GP’s and pharmacies on a Dublin based territory selling multiple generic medicines. In mid-2008 I transferred back home to Galway, continuing to work in the West of Ireland with Helsinn Birex until I joined Pfizer in 2014.

What does your current role entail?
In my current role I am responsible for all Pfizer OTC pharmacy sales into independent pharmacies and pharmacy groups across the West of Ireland. My main responsibility is to create awareness of our brands and educate OTC staff of their benefits so that they will recommend them to patients. Acquiring appropriate shelf space at pharmacy level and maintaining wholesale stock levels is key to driving our patient centric business.

Why do you do the job that you do?
I love working with people. For me, it is all about the relationships, the experiences, memories and ideas that I’ve shared with so many colleagues, customers and friends over the years. It’s that feeling of purpose, the ability to identify problems and deliver solutions. I really enjoy what I do every day….almost every day!

Have you always been involved with the MRII?
Yes. Since joining the industry I have always been a member. I have found the Institute a great source of support, education and interaction with industry colleagues. I completed the MRII exam in 2009 and would recommend it to all in the industry. Not coming from a science background, I found it difficult but it armed me with a thorough knowledge base that I have found a great asset ever since. I remain an active member and joined council in 2015.

What advice would you offer to any new entrants to pharma sales?
When I started in sales 12 years ago, I remember some advice offered to me by a then retiring rep. I think that it has stood me well. Always polish your shoes and wear good socks. Neither will ever be noticed unless you don’t want them to be. Carry your suitcase in your left hand and always smile. It leaves your right hand free to greet customers who will always buy from a happy sales person. Sales is a form of theatrics, enjoy the show. Needless to say, that rep has still not retired. Thank you for the advice. I hope you read this and smile.

Also – join the MRII!!

What are your interests and hobbies?
In my spare time I enjoy running, cycling, playing horrifically bad golf and seeking out Irelands finest pint of Stout! I am also a vintage car enthusiast and love passing a Saturday afternoon tinkering with my old rust bucket – a classic Rover Mini Cooper.

Do you have a favourite place to stay in Ireland?
While working in Donegal, I often stay in Rathmullan House overlooking Lough Swilly in North Donegal. It’s a spectacular Georgian House run by the Wheeler family. There’s a beautiful beach where I run, just on the doorstep and the restaurant is unrivalled. Add it to your list, it’s top class.

What is your motto or personal mantra?
Every day should start with coffee and finish with wine.