SUMMARY: “The pharmaceutical industry is now the most poorly regarded industry in Americans’ eyes, ranking last on a list of 25 industries that Gallup tests annually.” We need to step up and fix this. Hire people who care about patients and replace CEO’s whose only concern is Wal Street and stock prices.
The pharmaceutical industry has unseated the federal government as the lowest-rated industry this year, in terms of its net-positive score; the government has been last or tied for last from 2011 through 2018. The healthcare industry’s negative ratings also exceed its positive ratings by double digits, while the advertising and public relations industry’s net rating is barely negative.
Americans’ net ratings for the pharmaceutical industry have never been lower since Gallup first polled on industries in 2001.
The new low in the pharmaceutical industry’s U.S. image comes amid a range of criticisms of industry norms, from generating the highest drug costs in the world to spending massive amounts in lobbying politicians to the industry’s role in the U.S. opioid crisis. Several Democratic candidates have called out the industry in their party’s presidential debates.
I have been in this industry for almost 20 years, and this hurts. It hurts because too many CEO’s have trashed the industry while sucking up to the financial sector. Donating money to Mitch McConnell is beyond bad taste when his approval ratings have tanked in his home state.
I recently heard, from a pharma company in Boston, that none of their interns decided to pursue opportunities within pharma. They cite the culture of slow decision making, putting sales first and all-day meetings as the key reasons why. This alone should be a huge warning to the industry.
I am not about to throw in the towel. I am going to continue to focus on patients and I am urging others, who care, to do the same. It’s time to ask your CEO’s what they are doing about the public mistrust of the industry and how they are becoming more focused on patients. It’s time to weed out the “job jumpers” whose resume indicates that they have gone from one pharma/agency to the next job often without any substantial accomplishments. We need to fight this at the roots. I know WE can do it.
If you read this and think “it’s business as usual” they you become part of the problem.