The pharma industry’s reputation continues to slip from a pandemic halo-high of 62% in February 2021 to now when fewer than half, just 47%, of people have a favorable view of the industry, according to the Harris Poll’s latest survey. (Source: Endpoints News) Does anyone believe that pharma cares?
The Republican blockade of President Biden’s nominees for federal agencies escalated last week and now allows profit-hungry middlemen to keep prescription drug prices high. Last Thursday, the Federal Trade Commission was blocked from initiating an investigation into how pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are responsible for higher drug prices. This has PhRMA written all over it.
(Axios) Second-quarter results are still pouring in, but so far, a vast majority of health care companies are reporting profits that many people assumed would not have been possible as the pandemic continued. Drug sales fell across many pharma companies but cutting administrative and research costs kept earnings at industry highs.
- Pfizer asks for accelerated approval for a COVID booster shot even though the FDA says it’s unnecessary.
- From 2016 to 2020, the 14 leading drug companies spent $577 billion on stock buybacks and dividends—$56 billion more than they spent on R&D over the same period.”
- From 2016 to 2020, compensation for the 14 companies’ top executives totaled $3.2 billion.
- The drug industry is driven by profits, not by patient’s needs.
QUICK READ: Pfizer is already positioning their Covid vaccine as a yearly maintenance shot. In other words, they want to milk this cash cow for every penny they can get out of the healthcare system. Make no mistake; the drug companies will make a lot of money from these vaccines while they continue to hide profits offshore.
SUMMARY: Via the Financial Times, “pharmaceutical companies have never had it so good. The rapid rollout of Covid-19 vaccines has made household names of Pfizer and AstraZeneca, and the whole industry is winning praise for co-operation”. However, the bump in reputation will be short-lived because companies need to earn the public’s trust every day, and pharma is already damaging their perception with people.
SUMMARY: Pharma’s reputation got a bump the latest Harris Poll survey shows but behind the numbers is more of a reality. Overall, about 16% of Americans had a negative or more negative view of pharma in mid-May, which was again on par with April sentiment. The only reason given by a majority (53%) was the criticism that pharma is not making drug treatments more affordable during this time of crisis. That was followed by putting company interests before people during the crisis (45%) and not doing enough to protect vulnerable populations (43%). Forty percent attributed their negative feelings to the industry’s “poor” response to the crisis.
IN SUMMARY: Pharma’s reputation is going to continue to slide with new acquisitions that have to be paid for with high drug prices and the continuing loss of good employees who are being forced out by a dated culture.