A major global survey, “testing the health of the pharmaceutical industry”, has revealed that a sizeable majority of executives polled believe the sector is in good shape but are concerned its reputation.

Some 971 executives have responded to a survey from eyeforpharma which has compiled an ‘industry healthcheck’. It shows that 22% think the industry’s reputation is not improving amongst the general public, though 46% think they know what the industry needs to do to improve it. However, Pierre Morgon, chief marketing officer at Cegedim, is not so sure, claiming that “the industry keeps looking at some of its members misbehaving, without taking any action”, with the exception of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

Elsewhere in the survey, 73% of respondents agree that pharma companies should become “genuine healthcare providers”, while 59% think the greatest competition will come from outside the traditional sector. Mr Morgon said that the life sciences industry will have to learn to partner with new players, such as data mining companies, and “retain a seat at the table of the decision-makers about real life and not be cornered in the world of the laboratory and randomised clinical trials”.

Among the other key findings, 51% think it is harder to recruit good employees than keep them, 42% agree R&D spending will fall over the next decade (only 37% disagree), while a whopping 99% say further consolidation will occur over that period. However, Domenic Maccarone, senior sales director at Lundbeck Canada, disagrees, saying the mega-merger “has not worked…I see more and more companies buying future products rather than consolidation taking place”.  
Some 85% agree that patient-centricity is the best route to future profitability, while 65% believe pharma needs to improve its use of social media.