By Sola Ogundipe

Towards enabling the engagement of sales and marketing practitioners in Nigeria’s pharma space through seamless interaction, networking, sharing of ideas and best practices, a professional body known as the Society for Pharmaceutical Sales and Marketing of Nigeria, SPSMN,  recently made its debut.

The Society, which provides a single and unifying platform for all and every sales and marketing practitioner in Nigeria’s pharma space, irrespective of educational background, is designed to enable discussion of common problems, challenges, and opportunities thereby developing best practices and professionalism in the industry.

Speaking in Lagos during the Society’s public presentation/launch, the President of the SPSMN, Pharm Tunde Oyeniran, said the body would give a voice and identity hard-working professionals who bring in the money into the coffers of their respective organisations such as APIN, NAIROPHARM, PMGMAN, etc.

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He said the Society is an inclusive umbrella organisation focused on pharmaceutical sales and marketing in Nigeria and that it includes pharmacists and non-pharmacists working in the department of sales and marketing.

“We are a professional body with some element of self-regulation. The simple idea here is to provide a single and unifying platform for all and every sales and marketing practitioner in Nigeria’s pharma space, irrespective of educational background.

The platform is to enable us to interact, network, share ideas and best practices, discuss common problems, challenges and opportunities thereby developing best practices and professionalism.

“Let me state here our key aspirational objectives of the SPSMN is to foster unity among members and pursue the individual and group interests of pharmaceutical sales and marketing professionals/personnel in Nigeria. In this society, every member will be respected and valued, and the only differentiation will be performance and results delivered to our respective employers,” Oyeniran said.

Further, he highlighted benefits such as opportunities to network, discuss common problems, and influence the pharma sector to make work easier and the sector better.

“Members of the public at one time or the other become the patient and the patient is at the centre of every healthcare professional’s work. So we are going to see that the marketing of pharmaceuticals is done in the most ethical manner and in such a way that it benefits society at large.

Our expectations in the immediate future will go in line with what we can contribute,” Oyeniran asserted

 The pharma-marketing function, indeed the pharma sector is faced with many challenges which we believe SPSMN can contribute to solving either alone, or in cooperation and collaboration with other stakeholders.

Such problems include but are not limited to inadequate knowledge.

He said among these are poor ethics and lack of integrity by some sections of stakeholders; credit-driven sales; indebtedness by government institutions and agencies among others.

Also speaking,  the keynote speaker, Prof Lere Baale, said businesses and organisations in the country need to take advantage of .benefits of sales and marketing alignment that the SPSMN can provide.

In his presentation,  Baale noted that the lack of alignment between sales and marketing is failing businesses across the globe so much that misalignment is costing businesses over a trillion dollars per year even as he called for the coming together of sales and marketing leaders as a team. 

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