Holmes Report 05 Feb 2017 // 9:52AM GMT
9% of US consumers still believe pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies put patients over profits, and 16% believe health insurance companies do, according to a Harris Poll study, which found somewhat higher levels of confidence (36%) in healthcare providers (such as doctors and nurses) and hospitals (23%).
“We are in the midst of a healthcare maelstrom,” said Wendy Salomon, vice president of reputation management and public affairs at Nielsen. “Consumers see no safe port, no place where their interests are truly protected—and that lack of consumer trust is reflected in the reputational risk we see across the US healthcare landscape.”
Additionally, the poll found that while most are neutral toward healthcare industries, more consumers rate health insurance (24%) and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies (20%) with low reputations, compared to hospitals (6%), healthcare providers such as doctors and nurses (5%) and technology (2%). F
58% rate the reputation of the technology industry as high, compared to health care providers (43%), hospitals (37%), pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies (20%), and health insurance companies (15%).
“There are undeniable reputational risks for pharmaceutical and health insurance companies—more so than other parts of the healthcare ecosystem,” said Salomon. “Reputation matters to patients, care providers, investors, employees, and potential hires. Positive reputations can pave the way in times of crisis, in times of transition—and when it’s critical to have a seat at the policy-setting table.”
According to Salomon, “There’s a lot health care can improve, but we tend to paint the entire industry with a broad brush. The EpiPen controversy, Affordable Care Act challenges, the fall of Theranos, and the basic hassles inherent in navigating one’s health care needs—all of these contribute to consumers’ perceptions of the reputation of the health care system overall, but we need to remember that healthcare players are not viewed equally.
“While at times the pharmaceutical industry seems an easy target for criticism, it is stunning to see the little credit it receives for making a positive difference.”