Another poll finds dropoff in pharma consumer confidence

The latest survey to find a dip in pharma trust and reputation comes is Reputation Institute's annual RepTrak poll. (Alpha Stock Images)

Another week, another dismal pharma trust and reputation poll. This time, the poll comes from the Reputation Institute, which found that pharma companies' national and global reputations are under stress, with a 3.7 point general decline in reputation score.

Trust in pharma is even worse, with a 14% decline in consumers’ perception that drugmakers will do the right thing and a 13% drop in giving pharma the benefit of the doubt.

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What happened? The Institute’s survey found that negative media coverage was “a strong contributor” to the reputation slide this year.

The top five companies who did well in the Reputation Institutes’ branded RepTrak were Sanofi, Roche's Genentech, Celgene, AbbVie and Biogen. Those winners did well across the board, but scored particularly well in areas including ethical governance, openness and transparency, and supporting good causes.

While most pharma companies tended to fare well in reputation around financial performance, they failed in areas consumers value more, such as governance, the study found. The bad news comes on the heels of last year's RepTrak, which found the industry's reputation on the upswing with the general public. AbbVie, Novo Nordisk and Takeda were the top three last year.

Ivan Rocabado, vice president and consulting director for the Institute in North America, said the poll indicates an opportunity for pharma. “Increasing familiarity of the corporate brand of pharma companies among the general public ties directly to a lift in ‘trust’ and ‘benefit of the doubt’ resulting in greater support," he said in a statement.

Reputation Institute analyst Meghan Burke added, “Companies can’t just focus on financial performance. In particular, pharmaceutical companies need to lead with ethics, prioritize governance, be authentic and seize their narrative to enhance their reputation.”