Pharma's U.S. reputation is bad—and Trump may be to blame: survey

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U.S. patient groups gave pharma its lowest reputation marks since 2013 in a survey from PatientView.

The pharma industry’s reputation among patient groups in the U.S. has sunk to a recent low, and some are pointing to the country's leader as the reason.

Only 29% of groups recently surveyed by research firm PatientView believe pharma has an “excellent” or “good” corporate reputation, the most negative rating in the U.S. since 2013. That compares with 38% of global patient groups that view pharma positively, according to a new U.S.-only breakout report by PatientView.

PatientView founder and CEO Alex Wyke said in an interview that U.S. President Donald Trump may have something to do with the stat.

“Trump has changed the whole dynamics in the way pharma companies are viewed, not just in the USA but worldwide. 2016 was notable in that patient groups marked the industry down for many of their activities, but most notable was the ability of companies to adopt fair pricing policies—from the perspective of patient groups," he said via email.

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Those moves to "price products fairly" only received positive reviews from 7% of U.S. groups. The other area where pharma companies are trying hard, but apparently failing in patients’ eyes, is providing services beyond products, often called "beyond the pill" services. Just 14% of groups rated the industry's efforts as “excellent” or “good.”

The U.S. breakout is a follow-up to PatientView’s global study, released in March, that found a similar, but not as marked, worldview drop in pharma reputation from 2015 to 2016. The U.S. data come from 164 American patient groups surveyed between November 2016 and February 2017.

There were some positive notes in the U.S., too. Patient groups rated pharma companies more positively on innovation, providing high-quality information, access to clinical trials, work in partnership with patient groups and being philanthropic when compared with global groups from 19 other countries.

PatientView's survey also ranks individual pharma companies by their reputations among U.S. groups and found that Roche, Shire, Amgen, Allergan, Novo Nordisk and Novartis notched the most significant gains with patient groups year over year.