Can Pharma Shake Off that Tainted Image?

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Pharmaceutical Technology Europe

Pharma understands the importance of patient centricity, but the problem is the gap between intent and action.

Patients should be pharma’s top priority; after all, they are the reason for the industry’s existence. Of course pharma understands the importance of patient centricity, but the problem is the gap between intent and action. It’s the same with transparency and integrity, where the real challenge lies in putting theory into practice. 
Nonetheless, pharma is making progress in restoring its reputation. The latest reputation survey by PatientView recorded the best ever results since 2011, when the first study was conducted (1). Of the 1075 respondent patient groups surveyed, 28% noted that the pharmaceutical industry’s corporate reputation improved in 2015. In fact, approximately 45% of those polled considered pharma to have an “excellent” or “good” reputation in 2015, compared with 34% in 2012, which marked the lowest score. 

PatientView defines corporate reputation as the extent to which pharmaceutical companies are meeting the expectations of patients and patient groups. Interestingly, high-quality products were cited as the key contributor to the industry’s improved reputation, with 72% rating pharma’s products as “excellent” or “good.”
Respondents, however, had reservations about drug pricing. Survey results showed that only 15% felt that pharma’s pricing practices were fair, while 45% rated pharma as “poor” in this area, particularly in the pricing of drugs for hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and rare diseases, which was deemed unfair. 

So here’s the bottom line, pharma still has a long way to go in proving that it puts patients before profits. If pharmaceutical companies can emphasize more on the number of lives saved or improved instead of their share prices, perhaps only then will the industry be regarded as a true catalyst in advancing healthcare. Patient centricity is, after all, believed to be the best route to profitability, and players who make patients the core of their efforts will reap the rewards in due time. 

1. PatientView, “The Corporate Reputation of the Pharmaceutical Industry in 2015,” Press Release, 10 March 2016.


Article DetailsPharmaceutical Technology Europe
Vol. 28, No. 5
Page 6

When referring to this article, please cite it as S. Siew "Can Pharma Shake Off that Tainted Image?" Pharmaceutical Technology Europe 28 (5) (May 2016).