Fewer Allergan sales reps, still serving ODs

September 23, 2014

Recently, Allergan reduced its sales force, causing concern in the marketplace about sales rep availability to optometry. Some practitioners believed the move was a perceived slight to optometry in favor of ophthalmology, adding to a long-held perception that Allergan is not committed to optometry.

Recently, Allergan reduced its sales force, causing concern in the marketplace about sales rep availability to optometry. Some practitioners believed the move was a perceived slight to optometry in favor of ophthalmology, adding to a long-held perception that Allergan is not committed to optometry.

Related: Allergan SECO boot camp 

“We are absolutely dedicated to optometry,” says David Gibson, director, optometric professional relations and strategic initiatives, speaking exclusively to Optometry Times. “It’s one of our big growth areas at Allergan. We have to make sure that we’re totally working to ensure coverage of optometrists.”

The sales team is currently being realigned to maximize sales efforts, according to the company.

“Back during our second quarter earnings call, CEO David Pyott indicated there would be significant changes to our structure,” says Gibson. “Our goal is to be a leaner and more efficient company. As part of that, our eyecare sales team is being realigned. We traditionally had four parallel selling teams calling on ODs and MDs. One of those four has been a contract sales force. With changes being made, we decided to eliminate our contract sales force and realign the rest of the group to maximize our efforts.”

According to Gibson, these changes mean an increase in the number of sales reps to optometry as well as four new positions in the optometry marketing team.

“We’ve been working hard over the past several years to increase the number of programs dedicated to optometry,” he says. “None of those are going away. We wanted to protect these efforts and position ourselves for growth in optometry and continue to deliver on these resources.”

Those optometry programs include:

• Academic Partnership Program to provide education, support and resources to U.S. optometry schools

• Optometry Jumpstart to support new optometrists within the first five years of graduation

• Pathways in Medical optometry Boot Camps to train optometrists on medical optometry

• Visionary Insight for Eye Care Women (VIEW) programs to provide training and inspiration to current and future female optometric leaders 

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