Effect of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives Unethical Practices on Sales Performance: A comparison between MNCs and National companies.


  • Shah Muhammad Saleem College of Business Management, Institute of Business Management, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Dr. Sania Usmani College of Business Management, Institute of Business Management, Karachi, Pakistan


Unethical Sales Practices, Rewards, Incentives, Sales performance, Job Satisfaction


Pharmaceutical marketing is not a brand-new concept. Pharmaceutical businesses have long used a number of tactics to boost sales. Pharmaceutical companies are the ultimate champions of the selling notion in marketing. Pharmaceutical marketing makes use of medical representatives as a direct sales technique to connect firms and physicians. Unethical practices in pharmaceutical selling are rampant all over the world, and Pakistan is no exception. Society cannot solely place the responsibility for unethical behavior in the pharmaceutical sector on the sales reps because it is a complicated and diverse problem. For instance, there are situations where doctors request favors in exchange for prescribing particular medications to their patients. Even moral salespeople may be persuaded in such circumstances to stay in business, which could lead to monetary losses. There will always be businesses with unscrupulous salespeople ready to meet the demands of the doctors who seek favors as long as there is fierce competition in the market The purpose of this research was to understand the role of MNCs and National company’s pharmaceutical sales representatives who use the unethical practices which directly influences in increasing their sales performance and organizations sales, and subsequently earning rewards and incentives. Unethical practices comprise doctor’s sponsorships to continuous medical education programs (CMEs), giveaways, Local Speaker Programs (LSPs), Round Table Discussions (RTDs), and funding clinic renovations. This study targeted 200 Pharmaceutical sales representatives, belonging to MNCs and National companies. Non-probability, convenience sampling method approach was used for the study. For data analysis, PLS-SEM3 was used to analyze the effect of unethical sales practices, mediated by rewards and job satisfaction on the sales performance of sales representatives. The results point to the sales supervisor’s role who directly or indirectly influence sales representatives to employ unethical practices in order to achieve their own sales targets. Sales representatives also need recognition, and to that end, this can only be achieved if they achieve or over-achieve sales targets. In order to have job satisfaction, sales representatives resort to unethical practices in the achievement of sales performance.