Corporate Reputation of Pharma – the Patient Perspective, February 2014



The Corporate Reputation of Pharma in 2013

—the Patient Perspective 

• A global survey, conducted mid-November to mid-December 2013
• Includes the views of 800 patient groups from 43 countries and differing specialties
• Patient-group feedback on the corporate reputation of the pharma industry during 2013
• Patient-group feedback on the corporate reputation of 33 pharma companies in 2013
• Results for 2013 are compared with those of 2012, and 2011

This independent study, funded by PatientView, represents 800 patient groups’ latest impressions on the corporate reputation of 33 individual pharma companies and of the pharma industry as a whole. Results for 2013 are compared with those of 2012 and 2011. For the purposes of this report, the phrase ‘corporate reputation’ is defined as the extent to which pharma companies are meeting the expectations of patients and patient groups. The 33 companies examined are:

AbbVie l

Actavis l Allergan l Amgen l Astellas l AstraZeneca l Baxter International l Bayer l Biogen Idec l Boehringer Ingelheim l Bristol-Myers Squibb l Celgene l Eli Lilly (Lilly) l Gilead Sciences l GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) l Grũnenthal l Janssen l Lundbeck l Menarini l Merck & Co (the US company) l Merck Group (the German company) l Novartis l Novo Nordisk l Pfizer l Roche l Sanofi l Servier l Shire l Stada Arzneimittel l Takeda l Teva l UCB l ViiV

 The pharma industry ranks 7th in the league table of 8 healthcare industries, 2013

Industry 2013 rankings

1st. Retail pharmacists, 61.9%
2nd. Medical-device companies, 54.9%
3rd. Healthcare services (private sector), 51.1%
4th. Health insurers (not-for-profit), 42.8%
5th. Generic drug manufacturers, 41.5%
6th. Biotechnology companies, 40.6%
7th. Multinational pharma companies, 35.4%
8th. Health insurers (for-profit), 26.7%

35.4% of the respondent patient groups stated that multinational pharma companies had either an “excellent” or “good” reputation in 2013, placing pharma 7th in the league table of healthcare industries, below biotech companies, generic drug manufacturers, non-for-profit health insurers, the private healthcare sector, medical-device companies, and retail pharmacists. Pharma, however, has a better reputation than commercial health insurers, which rank last. The reputation of multinational pharma, as perceived by patient groups, was similar in 2013 to its status in 2012. However, the industry’s result is still well below that reported in 2011. 41% of respondent patient groups stated, at the time, that the pharma industry had an “excellent” or “good” reputation in 2011.

Indicator 1: patient centricity-Top 5

Percentage of groups (familiar with the company) which say that the company had the best and most-effective patient-centred strategy in 2013.

1st. ViiV, 48.1%
2nd. Gilead, 35.0%
3rd. AbbVie, 31.7%
4th. Menarini, 25.5%
5th. Janssen, 24.6%

Indicator 3: record of patient safety -Top 5

Percentage of groups (familiar with the company) which say that the company had the best record of patient safety in 2013.

1st. ViiV, 36.0%
2nd. Gilead, 29.8%
3rd. Pfizer, 19.4%
4th. UCB, 19.4%
5th. AbbVie, 19.1%


Indicator 5: Transparency-Top 5

Percentage of groups (familiar with the company) which say that they believe the company had the best record for transparency with healthcare stakeholders in 2013.

1st. ViiV, 28.0%
2nd. Gilead, 27.1%
3rd. AbbVie, 20.4%
4th. Eli Lilly, 17.2%
5th. Janssen, 16.6%

Indicator 2: high-quality information for patients – Top 5

Percentage of groups (familiar with the company) which say that the company provided the best patient information in 2013.

1st. Gilead, 40.0%
2nd. ViiV, 33.3%
3rd. AbbVie, 27.5%
4th. Pfizer, 25.1%
5th. Eli Lilly, 24.1%

Indicator 4: high-quality, useful products – Top 5

Percentage of groups (familiar with the company) which say that the company supplied the most useful high-quality products in 2013. 

1st. ViiV, 44.4%
2nd. Gilead, 40.0%
3rd. AbbVie, 25.9%
4th. Novo Nordisk, 25.7%
5th. Pfizer, 24.1%


Indicator 6 : Integrity

Percentage of groups (familiar with the company) which say that they believe the company had the best record for integrity in 2013.

1st. ViiV, 34.6%
2nd. Gilead, 31.1%
3rd. AbbVie, 20.4%
4th. Menarini, 17.3%
5th. Shire, 16.7%

Overall top-10 company rankings for corporate reputation (patient perceptions)

(Number in brackets is rank in 2012)
*ViiV was not featured in The Corporate Reputation study before 2013

1st. ViiV  (— *)
2nd. Gilead  (2nd)
3rd. AbbVie  (6th)
4th. Pfizer  (5th)
5th. Janssen  (4th)
6th. Roche  (8th)
7th. Eli Lilly  (9th)
8th. Menarini  (19th)
9th. Novartis  (3rd)
10th. Novo Nordisk  (11th)


HIV/AIDS companies dominate the corporate-reputation rankings in 2013
After something of a hiatus in innovations reaching the market, the last two years have seen a turnaround, with both Gilead and ViiV introducing new compounds to the satisfaction of the HIV/AIDS community. However, despite the accolades, both companies have come under criticism for their pricing strategies from groups such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

AbbVie and Janssen
Interestingly, AbbVie and Janssen are both positioned highly (among the top five) in the 2013 rankings. This may be due—having disassociated themselves from their medical-device business interests—to their adoption of a pharma-focused strategy. Both companies are clearly invigorated by the process, and begin their new lives with fresh corporate strategies that include a patient-centric focus. AbbVie, like ViiV and Gilead, has also benefited from the launch of a novel HIV/AIDS drug.

Rising stars in 2013
Three other companies stand out as a result of the significant upward shifts they have made in the corporate-reputation rankings. These are the Italy-based Menarini, which jumped from 19th position in 2012 to 8th in 2013 (up 11 slots); France-headquartered Sanofi, which moved from 23rd position in 2012 to 15th in 2013 (up 8 places); and the Israel-based generics-come-research firm Teva, which also rose 8 spaces (up from 28th in 2012 to 21st in 2013). Although respondent patient groups do not provide The Corporate Reputationsurvey with the reasons for their selections, it is possible to speculate that Menarini’s success is due (at least in part) to its rapid corporate expansion programme, with extensive acquisitions and partnerships worldwide. Sanofi, in addition to undergoing significant restructuring, has embraced two sizeable biotech firms, and its delivery of new products and a new patient-centric strategy has been interpreted positively by patient groups. Teva has made patient centricity a cornerstone of its gameplan, and, on the whole, patient groups tend to be more favourably disposed to generics companies than to pharma (because the generics business promotes wider access to drugs for patients than pharma).

Two further companies with successful corporate reputations are Roche and Eli Lilly. Both inhabit the top-10 positions, and each has moved up two slots since 2012—Roche from 8th to 6th, and Lilly from 9th to 7th.

Falling stars in 2013
A number of companies (notably Lundbeck and Novartis) have seen their positions decline.

What causes pharma company reputations to rise or fall?
The Corporate Reputation of Pharma ‘league tables’ provide feedback on the patient perceptions of each individual pharma company during one particular year. To enable PatientView to turn these patient perceptions into hard, comprehensible figures, large numbers of patient groups need to be included in the study. 800 patient organisations took the time and effort to complete the survey for 2013. As far as is possible to tell, patient groups are influenced by five main factors when balancing up the reputation of a pharma company:

  1. A good portfolio of products that brings hope to people suffering from the medical conditions familiar to the patient group.
  2. Media coverage about the company (allied to comments received on the ‘grapevine’ from peer patient groups about the behaviour of a corporate).
  3. A sense among the patient group that a company is truly putting patients at the heart of its business approach. The company needs to demonstrate this fact, not simply articulate a desire to be patient centric.
  4. A perception among the patient group of a year-on-year positive change in the company’s investment stance across the patient arena—whether it is support for specific patient organisations, for big campaigns, or for patient-centred research.
  5. A feeling among the patient group that a company’s relationship with it (and with peer patient groups) can be relied upon to be long, rather than short, term.

Since the circumstances of individual pharma companies can fluctuate significantly, so, too, can their reputations (as perceived by patient groups). An interesting analogy might be with a company’s share price, which can rise or fall, reflecting the market’s perception of the health of the company’s financial future.

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