Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Reputation of pharmaceutical industry sinks further

In China, drug quality scandals and corruption have tainted people's view of the pharmaceutical industry
The pharmaceutical industry’s reputation is improving in most countries - except China.
According to the latest Ipsos Reputation Snapshot for the Pharmaceutical Sector, the pharma industry’s reputation has improved significantly in the US and other countries. In China, however, people have a lower opinion of the pharma industry today than four years ago.
Among all countries surveyed, China’s perception of the drug industry has soured the most in the past four years, even as pharma made strides in the US. Taken against China’s higher regard for top pharma companies, what accounts for the discrepancy? “Many recent drug scandals in China have been the result of safety issues and corruption associated mostly with local brands,” says Nicolas Boyon, co-author of the report. Global companies, by juxtaposition, stand out because their western origin provides Chinese consumers with reassurance as to the safety and efficacy of their products.”  One such scandal involved the use of chromium, a known carcinogenic, found present in the local manufacture of gel capsules.
In addition, Boyon notes that DTC advertising, while illegal in China, “could benefit from companies leveraging the assurance of quality their trademarks represent as branded medicines.”
Recommended priorities for companies in pharma expressed by citizens around the world were closely aligned, and nothing particularly new to industry ears: innovation, safety, and improved access via financial assistance for patients. What will be interesting to see is how China’s ascent to status as the world’s second largest market for pharma will shape industry’s global reputation. The role and visibility of branded generic firms from China –and other key emerging markets –will begin to attract more attention, raising important questions about the scope of cross-border regulation and inspection.
Source: PharmExec

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