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ed2go Health and Fitness Medical Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative
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Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative

The Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative Online Training course will help you become an entry-level, certified pharmaceutical sales representative, even if you don't have pharmacology or medical education. In this course you will learn the skills necessary to become a certified pharmaceutical sales representative. The program covers pharmacology, medical terminology, physiology, and regulations for selling pharmaceuticals.

As a registered student of the CNPR course, you'll automatically become a member of NAPSRx, and you'll be eligible to sit for the CNPR national certification exam at no additional cost. This online certificate program is offered in partnership with major colleges, universities, and other accredited education providers.

6 Months / 90 Course Hrs
Open enrollment

Offered in Partnership with your Preferred School

Central Michigan University

Why this school? It's been chosen based on your location or if you've visited this school's website. Change School

Learning Method


Self-Paced. Study on your own schedule

Contact Us for additional information

Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative

Contact Us

Details + Objectives

Course Code: GES106

What You Will Learn
  • Understand all pharmaceutical terms, definitions, and abbreviations needed to sell pharmaceuticals
  • Know the pharmaceutical industry, major product lines, and therapeutic categories
  • Understand the FDA's role in the industry, laws enforced by the FDA, the Hatch-Waxman Act, and regulatory compliance in drug labeling and promotion
  • Comprehend Medicare and Medicaid issues and how they affect the selling process
  • Understand research and development of new drugs, including stages and timelines of new drug development and clinical trials
How the course is taught
  • Self-paced, online course
  • 6 months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 90 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Become prepared to successfully pass the CNPR certification exam
  • Learn how to effectively communicate with patients and pharmaceutical professionals
  • Understand drug reimbursement problems and be able to communicate insurance regulations with patients and physicians
  • Jump-start your career as a pharmaceutical sales representative regardless of whether or not you have previous experience in the industry


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Introduction to Pharmaceutical Sales

Develop the fundamental skills required to succeed in the pharmaceutical industry. Understand the potential compensation and market share you will have access to. You’ll also cover a day in the life of a pharmaceutical sales representative, including what makes a sales representative successful and how to communicate effectively with physicians, vendors, and patients.

Drug Distribution

Learn about the supply chain for drug distribution including terminology, licensing, wholesalers, distributors, and package insert information. Understand the requirements for package insert information, and the various regulations behind drug patents and licensing.

Research and Development

Understand the rules behind drug sampling and storage. You’ll learn about the research and development process of drug creation and distribution, including how to find and create government partnerships.

Clinical Development and Marketing

Master an understanding of the clinical development of pharmaceutical drugs. Discuss the marketing environment and trends for various pharmaceutical drugs. Learn the difference between over-the-counter medicine and prescriptions.

Ethical Guidelines

Discuss the best practices for patient communication. Understand AMA guidelines and the PhRMA code.

Pharmaceutical Sales Skills

Cover the best practices for successfully selling pharmaceutical drugs. Understand various relationships between sales reps, physicians, vendors, and patients.

  1. So You Want to Be in Pharmaceutical Sales
    1. A Rewarding Career
    2. Enormous Impact
    3. The Industry
    4. Healthcare Demand
    5. Food and Drug Administration
    6. Compensation
    7. Bonus Commission
    8. Market Share
    9. Selling for Volume
  2. A Day in the Life of a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
    1. Marketing Products
    2. The District Sales Manager
    3. What makes a Successful Rep
    4. Setting Objectives
    5. Sales Process
    6. Staying Current
    7. Winning Confidence
    8. Product Samples
    9. Organization
    10. The Physician
    11. Physician Attitude
    12. Challenges
  3. New Medicines Mean Strength for U.S. Economy
    1. Terminology
    2. Research-based
    3. Major Activities
    4. Large Number of New Drugs
    5. New Medicines in Development
    6. Research and Development Boost the U.S. Economy
    7. Policy Implications
  4. The Anatomy and Clinical Pharmacology
    1. Terms and Abbreviations
    2. The Foundation
    3. What is a Drug?
    4. The Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient
    5. Mechanism of Action
    6. Formulation
    7. Excipient Classes
    8. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
    9. The Cell
    10. Classes of Nutrients
    11. Basic Clinical Pharmacology
    12. Drug Administration and Delivery
  5. Drug Distribution: the Supply Chain
    1. Terminology
    2. Licensing
    3. Wholesalers
    4. Distributors
  6. Package Insert Information
    1. The Purpose
    2. Sections
  7. Drug Patents
    1. Terms and Abbreviations
    2. Patent: Definition, Duration
    3. Marketing Exclusivity
    4. Generic Drugs
    5. FDA's Criteria for Equivalence
    6. FDA's Orange Book
    7. Single-and Multi-Source Drug Products
    8. Hatch-Waxman Act
  8. Drug Sampling
    1. Drug Sample Storage Techniques
    2. Federal Regulations
    3. Storage of Pharmaceutical Products
    4. Recalls on Drug Products
  9. The Research and Development Process
    1. Regulations
    2. Higher Research and Development & Costs
    3. Policy Implications
    4. Dynamic Growth
    5. Research Spending
    6. Government Partnerships
    7. Scientific Opportunities
  10. Drug Development and Preclinical Studies
    1. Pharmacodynamics
    2. Administering a Drug
    3. Transport Mechanisms
    4. Passive Diffusion
    5. Facilitative Diffusion
    6. Active Transport
    7. Pinocytosis
    8. Absorption
    9. Buccal and Sublingual
    10. Subcutaneous and Intermuscular Administration
    11. Blood-Brain Barrier
    12. Toxicology
    13. Carcinogenicity
    14. Animal Tests
    15. Clinical Trials
      1. Ethical Considerations
      2. Regulatory Requirements
      3. Clinical Papers
      4. Enhance Your Presentation
        1. Anticipate Questions
        2. Handle Objections
        3. Sell What's Meaningful
    16. Drug Discovery: Large Molecule Drugs
      1. Vaccines
      2. Toxoids
      3. Adjuvants
      4. Human Immune System
      5. Gene Therapy
      6. Stem Cells
      7. Bone Marrow Transplant
    17. Managed Care
      1. Formulary Basics
      2. Restrictive Strategies
      3. Understanding Cost
      4. Pharmacy Department
      5. Medical Education
    18. Brand Medicine
      1. Pharmaceutical Branding
      2. Brand Medicine
      3. Building Brands
      4. Brand Positioning
      5. DTC Advertising
      6. The Language Barrier
      7. Role of Research
      8. Types of Names
    19. Clinical Development and Pharmaceutical Marketing
      1. Environment and Trends
      2. DTC Branding
      3. OTC Availability
      4. AIDS Epidemic
      5. New Millennium
      6. Patient Communication
    20. Ethical Regulatory Guidelines
      1. AMA Guidelines
      2. PhRMA Code
    21. Pharmaceutical Sales Skills
      1. Relationships
      2. Sales Superstars
      3. Seeing the Physician
      4. Drug Formulary
      5. Sales Force
View All Sections

Instructors & Support

Brian Kennedy

Brian Kennedy is the director at NAPSRx, a pharmaceutical sales representative association that provides training and continuing education to applicants pursuing a pharmaceutical sales career. He obtained a bachelor’s in finance from the University of Illinois. Kennedy has held sales positions with Fortune 500 companies.


Prerequisites / Requirements


This course is for you if you're interested in learning job skills for pharmaceutical sales opportunities and if you're interested in becoming certified in this field.

Students should be proficient in keyboarding, have a basic understanding of a word-processing computer program (Microsoft Word recommended), and have a command of English grammar and punctuation. No healthcare or medical-office work experience is required.


Hardware Requirements: 

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements: 

  • PC: Windows XP or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
Instructional Materials

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

The official NAPSR Pharmaceutical Sales Training Manual will be provided to registered students by the NAPSR.

As a CNPR student, you'll receive a membership to NAPSR, and you'll also be eligible to take the official NAPSR certification exam at no additional cost upon completion of your online training course.

About Certification


The National Association of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives (NAPSR) helps entry-level sales representatives, sales managers, and trainers in the industry gain the knowledge and experience they need to excel. The association seeks to promote the industry as a profession and to ensure pharmaceutical sales reps are trained and certified. Its most well-known credential is the Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative (CNPR), and you can complete a certified exam prep course with us.



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Can I register for a course if I am an international student?

Yes, ed2go courses are online, so you never have to actually travel to the school. Most schools offer telephone or online registration.

Does this course prepare for a certification?


When can I start the course?

This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course as soon as you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.

How long does it take to complete this course?

This course is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start when you want and finish at your own pace. When you register, you'll receive six (6) months to complete the course.

What if I don't have enough time to complete my course within the time frame provided?

The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact your Student Advisor to help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.

What kind of support will I receive?

You may be assigned with an instructor or team of industry experts for one-on-one course interaction. Your support will be available (via e-mail) to answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback on your performance. All of our instructors are successful working professionals in the fields in which they teach. You will be assigned to an Advisor for academic support.

What happens when I complete the course?

Upon successful completion of the course, you’ll be awarded a certificate of completion. However, completion of the course doesn't guarantee certification through CNPR. Please refer to the following question for more information.

Am I guaranteed a job?

This course will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.

Can I get financial assistance?

ed2go courses are non-credit, so they do not qualify for federal aid, FAFSA and Pell Grant. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses. Additionally, some students may qualify for financial assistance when they enroll, if they meet certain requirements. Financing is available from select schools. Learn more:

How can I get more information about this course?

If you have questions that are not answered on our website, please feel free to contact us via LIVE CHAT or by calling us at (855) 520-6806. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please feel free to send us a question using the Contact Us form.

Is a college degree required for certification or employment?

A degree is generally recommended, but it's not a strict requirement. Some smaller- and medium-sized pharmaceutical sales companies don’t require a college education; however, it's difficult for candidates to break into the larger companies without acquiring some college hours. Students are encouraged to research the pharmaceutical job market in their area prior to enrolling in this course.

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