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A Little Goes a Long Way for Big Pharma

Raise a pharmaceutical company’s reputation in the public by just a small margin and it can have huge results, according to a new study released by APCO Worldwide.

APCO found that if a company’s corporate reputation is raised by just one point, an additional 28,000 patients ask their doctors about a company’s medicine; sales for the average pharmaceutical company increase by 3.33 percent; and 83,000 more community activists actively and vocally advocate on behalf of the industry, among other positive results.

The study was based on more than 3,000 respondents such as health care providers, policy-makers, and healthcare opinion leaders. It aimed to measure the effect of overall reputation on several specific business outcomes like consumer behavior, prescribing behavior, community activism, the policy environment, the litigation environment and the financial value of the company.

Yes, big pharma has big image problems. Another study  showed that less than half of people, 42 percent, believe pharma has a good corporate reputation and only 31 percent believe pharmaceutical companies act with integrity. Ouch!

Sometimes the money that these companies make is simply unfathomable. In 2010, the top 50 companies accounted for $593 billion (with a B) of prescription drug sales.

Pharma makes big money, but also needs big help. It takes a reputation hit as an industry every time a news report comes out on something like a diabetes drug increasing risk of heart attacks,  or even when the FDA bans certain drugs for use with livestock.

More information on the APCO study here.

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