The medical device industry's reputation with patients is one of the highest in healthcare, coming ahead of pharma and second only to retail pharmacy according to a new global survey of patient groups.
UK research organisation PatientView surveyed 300 patient groups and found the medical device sector's reputation was seen as 'good' or 'excellent' by 52 per cent of respondents.
In contrast multinational pharma companies were viewed in this way by 40 per cent of patient groups, coming slightly behind biotech companies, which scored 41 per cent.
When it came to individual medical device companies the highest ranked were Coloplast, Medtronic, Smith & Nephew, Roche Diagnostics and Abbott.
These scores were based on patient groups' perceptions of the companies' patient-centred strategy, quality of patient information, patient safety record, transparency with external stakeholders and record of integrity. The survey also looked at how useful to patients the companies' products were seen to be.
“A good corporate reputation can strengthen a medical device company's negotiating position with governments and other payers, can make high-quality employees easier to retain, and can leverage the status of the company among the media and policymakers,” says PatientView's Corporate Reputation of the Medical Device Industry report.
It adds: “The views and perspectives that patients and their representative groups hold about the medical device industry - and about specific companies within that industry - have an important bearing on the companies' profitability.”
“Such views may be entirely at odds to the opinions held by other healthcare stakeholders—not least since patients have different aspirations to health professionals, policymakers and regulators.”
Conducted and funded by Patient View, the online survey ran from mid-February to late-March 2012 and garnered responses from patient groups in 42 countries across the world.
It looked at the corporate reputation of the medical device industry as a whole, and of 18 individual multinational medical device companies.
The survey still found room for improvement among the sector. Some 32 per cent of respondents said the medical device industry's reputation has declined over the past five years, while 35 per cent thought it had stayed the same.
And despite the industry's high overall standing with patient groups, only 32 per cent of those surveyed said the sector was 'good' or 'excellent' when it came to practising ethical marketing.