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Survey reveals pharma’s most reputable companies

pharmafile | May 14, 2015 | News story | Medical Communications, Sales and Marketing Novartis, nayer, reputation 

Bayer has held on to the top spot in a global survey of how much the general public trusts and respects companies and the industry.

Globally the public have the strongest connection to the German firm it notes. Lilly, GSK, and Bristol-Myers Squibb saw significant improvements, while Novo Nordisk and Novartis faced significant declines.

The survey by the Reputation Institute asked more than 15,000 consumers in 15 mature and emerging markets about their views of the industry, and 12 of its largest companies.

It aimed to capture the ‘pulse’ of the public in relation to a company – in other words the ‘emotional connection’ consumers have to a brand. The pulse gave a score reflecting the public’s sense of trust, admiration and respect, good feeling and overall esteem, on a scale of 0 to 100.

The industry’s overall reputation score – 65.7 – represented an average to moderate reputation, and fell slightly from the previous year. All companies notched an average reputational score, but Bayer maintained its lead for the fourth year in a row – at 68.4 – and Novartis fell to the bottom at 63.6.

At 69.8 the UK score was slightly higher than the global average. Some companies, including AstraZeneca, received a notable reputational bump having fended off an aggressive takeover bid by Pfizer.

However the reputation of all 12 companies fell in China following a high-profile bribery scandal and government crackdown on industry corruption.

“Pharmaceutical companies need to communicate more about who they are as companies, how they are addressing healthcare challenges in local markets, and what they are doing to bring meaningful innovation to patients,” says Kasper Ulf Nielsen, the report’s author and executive partner at the Reputation Institute.

“Without this, they will be stuck with average reputations and not get the support they need to drive growth. Corporate reputations can change quickly, especially when companies have not done enough to define themselves—before events do it for them,” Nielsen adds.

The report also found that around half of consumers are unaware of pharma’s efforts to improve its reputation or its work to improve its products and services. This finding is backed up by research from Accenture, which found that only 19% of patients are aware of patient support services pharma firms provide.

The survey of 10,000 patients in five countries and seven different therapeutic areas, found that when patients are aware of the services offered – 58% use them and 79% rate the services as extremely, or very valuable.

Of the 2,000 patients in the UK, 17% said they were aware of patient services provided by pharma and 73% said they were extremely useful or valuable. But only 1% said they contacted pharma companies directly for information about their condition.

“These findings show there is a significant opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to improve their impact in healthcare by raising patient awareness of value-added services throughout a patient’s care journey,” says Tony Romito, life sciences managing director at Accenture.

“By identifying at risk patients earlier and then understanding and addressing their needs before being treated for a condition, pharmaceutical companies have the opportunity to work with the broader healthcare system to provide treatment that could mitigate the advancement of their condition.”

Lilian Anekwe

Companies ranked by reputation (Source: Reputation Institute Pharma RepTrak 2015 Report)

  1. Bayer
  2. Roche
  3. Abbott 
  4. Eli Lilly
  5. GlaxoSmithKline
  6. Bristol-Myers Squibb
  7. Novo Nordisk
  8. AstraZeneca
  9. Pfizer
  10. Sanofi
  11. Merck
  12. Novartis


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