Recapturing the vision

Pharmaceutical firms need to make some drastic changes to the way they do business if they are to regain the public’s trust and must be seen to be more interested in medicines than market share to avoid even more damage to their image, a leading industry observer has told PharmaTimes World News.

Peter Claude, a USA-based partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers pharmaceutical and life sciences advisory services group, was speaking as the firm published a report, Recapturing the Vision which highlights the significant differences between the public’s view of pharmaceutical companies and the industry’s self perception.

Mr Claude said that “it is difficult to comprehend how an industry that has saved so many lives should be held in such low public esteem.”

At present, he told PharmaTimes WorldNews, “no-one is listening to them (the drugmakers) and no-one wants to listen to them,” which means that the industry has to change the dynamic of its communication, especially at a time when the sector is under such pressure from governments and a fairly hostile media.

However, I have to say the problem is not about “view” and “self perception” – Peter Claude is wide of the mark… the problem is about the reality that the pharmaceutical companies that are all too happy to create markets for drugs that they know to be unsafe and they are putting their wealth before patients’ health.

The age of the truly innovative blockbuster drug is over – Big Pharma knows this and so continues to market sub standard products to the public. This is the reason why we have seen marketing and advertising spend leap ahead of (by two to three times) the R&D spend at every major drug maker in the world.

This simple fact shows where Big Pharma’s priorities lie – science and discovery have taken a back seat and the salesmen are driving.

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