Respiratory patient groups see pharma's reputation as boosted in 2022, but decry pricing, access to lung meds

Patient groups focused on lung diseases have observed an overall improvement in the pharmaceutical industry's reputation in 2022 compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, they continue to identify two major concerns for respiratory diseases—pricing and access to medicines—which remain unresolved.

That’s according to PatientView’s 2022 Corporate Reputation of Pharma report based on survey responses from 113 global respiratory patient groups about their views of 15 pharma companies from around the world in 2022.

According to the report, 8% of respondents said pharma was either “excellent’’ or “good’’ at setting fair pricing policies, while 30% saw pharma’s ability to offer greater access to its medicines as “excellent” or “good”. Respondents said that patients with chronic-respiratory diseases “are poorly served,” even in richer countries, due to “difficulties in accessing treatments.”

A U.S.-based national allergy patient group meanwhile said in the report that pharma’s lack of transparency in explaining company pricing policies was a major problem. The group argued that patient communities may be more accepting of higher prices if they better understood the true costs of company R&D, while other groups said they think pharma should take “greater account of the spending power of patients and national healthcare systems,” according to PatientView.

However, there was better news on the reputation front, as the report found that 64% of respondents rated pharma's corporate reputation as "excellent" or "good," which is up from the 61% of respiratory patient groups that said the same in 2021.

Regarding the rankings of pharmaceutical companies, Vertex, a company that markets cystic fibrosis drugs, secured the top position among all 15 companies, particularly among patient groups who are familiar with the company but do not work with them directly.

Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim, which markets an idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis drug, came second in that same setting, with asthma and COPD drugmaker Chiesi third.

When it came to respiratory patient groups working with the company they ranked, respiratory drug giant AstraZeneca secured the top position, with Boehringer coming in second, and French Big Pharma Sanofi taking third place.

The majority (84%) of the 113 patient groups said that they had worked with at least one pharma company.