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5 September 2019AmericasSarah Morgan

Big pharma’s reputation sinks to ‘lowest-ever’ point

Americans now hold less regard for big pharma than any other industry, according to a poll from US analytics company Gallup.

The pharmaceutical industry now ranks last on a list of 25 industries, lower than the federal government (24th) and the oil and gas industry (21st).

Only 27% of Americans viewed big pharma positively, compared with 58% who view the industry negatively, according to the poll.

Americans viewed the federal government—the second most poorly-regarded industry in the US—positively 25% of the time and negatively 52% of the time.

Gallup said that Americans net ratings for the pharmaceutical industry have never been lower since it first polled on industries in 2001.

“Over the past 19 years, few industries have been rated lower than the pharmaceutical industry's current -31 net rating. These include the federal government and the oil and gas, real estate, and automobile industries,” said Gallup.

Gallup added that the new low for big pharma comes amid a range of criticisms of industry norms, from “generating the highest drug costs in the world to spending massive amounts in lobbying politicians to the industry's role in the US opioid crisis”.

According to the analytics company, as the opioid epidemic rages on, it may be difficult for big pharma to make a comeback.

“The industry's rating likely will not recover until its role in the opioid epidemic is addressed, and the political pressure on the industry for high prices and massive profits subsides,” concluded Gallup.

The healthcare industry's negative ratings also exceed its positive ratings by double digits, while the advertising and public relations industry's net rating (which ranked 22nd) is “barely negative”.

Taking the first, second and third spots respectively are the restaurant, computer and grocery industries.

Results of the poll are based on phone interviews conducted in August with a random sample of 1,522 adults.

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