Earlier this week Patient View published the results of its annual tracker of the pharmaceutical industry’s reputation among patient groups.
The latest study surveyed 600 patient groups (72% of them from Europe). As well as asking patient groups to rank 29 pharmaceutical companies by various indices (such as whether their practices were patient-centred) – Lundbeck came top – they were also invited to comment on the overall reputation of the sector.
Only 34% of the patient groups said that the industry’s reputation was ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ in 2012. This is down from 42% in 2011. 40% said that it had actually declined and 48% cited the industry’s poor record for transparency as a reason. Patient View’s report also notes the concerns expressed by patient groups over company practices with regard to the reporting of clinical trial.
Last Friday I spoke to a packed hall of researchers, clinicians and patients at the Berkshire Healthcare Research Collaboration. The first question from the floor was from a patient and it was on this very subject of transparency. Myself and other speakers were also pigeon-holed on the subject by other attendees at the close of the session. The same has been true at many other meetings I have spoken at over the last few months. Meanwhile the AllTrials petition numbers climb steadily past 8000.
I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from the above on whether you think this issue matters to patients or not.