Americans’ views of the pharmaceutical industry have fallen in the past year, with negative perceptions outweighing positive ones, shown in the line graph from the Gallup Poll. Pharma’s low-lying reputation among consumers sits among others including the legal field, healthcare, oil and gas, and the Federal government which ranked lowest across all 25 sectors Gallup analyzed.
Gallup surveyed 1,011 U.S. adults in in the first week of August 2015 via telephone.
Since 2003, Gallup notes, the pharma industry has consistently ranked in the bottom third of industries operating in the U.S.
Pharma respect is in the eye of the consumer-beholder when it comes to political affiliation: Republicans are more bullish on the industry compared with Democrats. However, Gallup also notes that some segments of people who support Democrats are also supportive of the pharma industry, such as people with incomes below $50,000 and non-whites.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: While Gallup notes that consumers’ negative views of the pharmaceutical industry’s are “nothing new,” the disrespect for pharma in 2015 comes at a time when specialty drug costs are increasing at a dramatic rate. Pharma has been blamed, in Gallup polls, for being a major contributor to rising health care costs — although over the past decade, the pharmaceutical cost component in the U.S. National Health Expenditure bill hovers around 10%. This relatively stable percent is owed largely to the influx of generic drugs: about 80% of prescription volume is now for generics.
That will change in the next year or two as the fastest-growing component of the Rx line item in national health spending is specialty drugs. You can read more about that cost-driver here in Health Populi:
The pharma and life science industry will be called upon to define their role in the growing era of value-based and consumer-driven health care. Industry must make their case to purchasers — where those payors include the government and employers, along with pharmacy benefit managers, and finally with consumers paying first-dollar for healthcare goods and services under high-deductible health plans. FDA approval is only the first of some very high hurdles over which pharma and life sci innovators must jump in the era low-respect for the industry in the growing environment of value-based health.