SURVEY FINDS RISING PUBLIC DISTRUST OF PHARMA INDUSTRY
The public continues to lose trust in the pharma industry, viewing it far differently than the industry perceives itself, according to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers report.
The public believes the industry puts profits before patients, and is unaware of the benefits pharmaceutical companies bring to healthcare, according to the report, titled "Recapturing the Vision: Restoring Trust in the Pharmaceutical Industry by Translating Expectations into Actions." For the survey, PricewaterhouseCoopers sought out consumers and people involved with the pharmaceutical industry, including physicians, health insurers, researchers, policymakers and executives.
Among the survey findings:
74 percent of consumers underestimated the average financial investment required to research and develop a new drug by more than 50 percent;
45 percent of consumers thought that pharmaceutical companies choose to develop "me-too" and "lifestyle" drugs with the greatest sales potential, while 71 percent of those involved with the industry thought that they place health needs first; and
90 percent of consumers and those involved with the industry did not think that direct-to-consumer advertising provides complete and useful information, while 40 percent of pharma executives thought that it does.
"Pharmaceutical companies need to demonstrate a better balance of their primary healthcare mission with their fiduciary obligation to shareholders through patient-focused behavior," Peter Claude, a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers' Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Advisory Services Group, said. "Research has shown that a 5 percent positive change in corporate reputation translates into a 3 percent to 5 percent positive change in market capitalization."