• 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.
Pharma is big business whose goal is to maximize shareholder value

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.

Pharma’s reputational high will be short-lived

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.

Pharma’s temporary reputation bump