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Even before the pandemic struck and drug makers were seen as potential saviors, the pharmaceutical industry had slightly improved its battered image among patient groups, according to a new survey.

The survey found that 46% of patient advocacy groups thought that brand-name drug companies had developed an “excellent” or “good” reputation last year, up from 41% in 2018. This was also the best showing for pharma since the survey was started in 2011 by PatientView, a research firm that canvassed 1,850 patient groups from 95 countries between November 2019 and February 2020. They rated the reputations of 48 drug makers.


Brand-name drug makers scored higher than any other group in the health care sector, beating out pharmacies, biotech companies, generic manufacturers, and health insurers. The companies with the worst reputation were pharmacy benefit managers, with just 9% of the groups endorsing their work, which largely consists of devising formularies, or lists of covered medicines.

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  • I would not equate patient groups with the general public. Knowing what the general public thinks of drug companies might be a better indicator of which way their reputation is headed. Some patient groups have very cozy relationships with big drug companies. Still, anything positive from the survey is good.

    • Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for the note.
      And I agree that the reactions of patients groups should not be equated with the public at large for, presumably, obvious reasons. And yes, there are financial relationships, as noted in the post.

      It will be interesting to see the survey next year and still more interesting to watch for polls that gauge public perceptions more broadly of the industry.

      All best,
      ed at pharmalot

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