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Pharma's reputation rises, but pricing still a sore point

Patient group survey sees the industry's corporate reputation increase

ViiV Healthcare 
ViiV was ranked number 1 for the second year in a row 

The pharma industry's efforts to develop a patient-focused approach seem to have paid dividends, with the sector enjoying a sharp increase in popularity in an annual corporate reputation survey.

This year's figures reveal that around 45% of patient groups polled considered that pharma had a 'good' or 'excellent' corporate reputation in 2015, the highest level since the survey first ran in 2011 and up from 39% in the prior year. Moreover, another 28% of respondents said the industry improved during the year.

Among the highlights, 72% of patient groups said pharma was 'good' or 'excellent' at producing high-quality products, and this contributed hugely to the industry's overall reputation result, according to PatientView.

At the other end of the scale, however, just 15% of patient groups concluded that the industry did will on fair pricing policies - an unsurprising result given the debate on medicine pricing and access that featured prominently in the news in 2015. 

All told, 45% of 2015's respondent patient groups rated pharma as 'poor' at this activity, with pricing policies for hepatitis drugs, HIV treatments and rare disease therapies highly cited for being unfair. In country terms, the most unhappy patient groups were in Australasia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and the USA, according to the survey.

Once again, PatientView also looked at individual pharma companies' reputations and the poll revealed that ViiV Healthcare - the HIV-focused joint venture between GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Pfizer and Shionogi - was once again ranked number 1.

AbbVie came in second, followed by Lundbeck with Janssen climbing four places to take the number four slot ahead of Novo Nordisk. Gilead Sciences was sixth - a climb of three places - while Novartis, Roche, UCB and Pfizer rounded out the top 10.

Comments received during the survey revealed some interesting insights into how patient groups develop an opinion of pharma companies. 

While delivering major new products was rated highly, the groups were also interested in how companies manage drugs at the other end of their lifecycle when patents expire, which they said provided a key indicator of patient-centricity.

They also tended to react negatively to mergers and acquisitions (M&A) - particularly if the driver is reduction in taxes and costs - and marked companies down for bribery/corruption, a lack of transparency (particularly on pricing and side effects), pay-for-delay schemes and mismanagement of confidential patient data.

Article by
Phil Taylor

11th March 2016

From: Marketing

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