Increased attention on risks associated with certain medicines and less media coverage of donations made by drugmakers have challenged the pharmaceutical industry's ethical reputation last year, claims a new report.

The study, which has been published by Geneva-based research firm Covalence, notes that the pharmaceutical industry dropped from the first to the third rank of the latter’s ‘EthicalQuote’ ranking across 10 industries. It has been surpassed by automobiles and parts as well as technology hardware due to their “environmental actions”.

Covalence says that the decline in pharma’s score has much to due with safety issues on several drugs and the negative publicity that comes from lawsuits, settlements and fines. Drugs that get a specific mention in this scenario are Eli Lilly’s antipsychotic Zyprexa (olanzapine), Merck & Co and Schering-Plough’s cholesterol drug Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin) and GlaxoSmithKline’s antidepressant Paxil/Seroxat (paroxetine).

The study adds that “philanthropy fatigue” is another factor explaining “the current flattening of pharmaceuticals' ethical reputation” as media coverage of drug donations has reduced lately. “Such stories seem to have lost part of their news worth,” Covalence claims.

Thirdly, the report claims that pharma is better at social rather than environmental criteria, noting that “in the current green era, showing their positive contributions to society is difficult”. The study also notes that “a return of social priorities on top of global political agendas should help them improve their reputation”.

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Increased attention on risks associated with certain medicines and less media coverage of donations made by drugmakers have challenged the pharmaceutical industry's ethical reputation last year, claims a new report.

The study, which has been published by Geneva-based research firm Covalence, notes that the pharmaceutical industry dropped from the first to the third rank of the latter’s ‘EthicalQuote’ ranking across 10 industries. It has been surpassed by automobiles and parts as well as technology hardware due to their “environmental actions”.

Covalence says that the decline in pharma’s score has much to due with safety issues on several drugs and the negative publicity that comes from lawsuits, settlements and fines. Drugs that get a specific mention in this scenario are Eli Lilly’s antipsychotic Zyprexa (olanzapine), Merck & Co and Schering-Plough’s cholesterol drug Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin) and GlaxoSmithKline’s antidepressant Paxil/Seroxat (paroxetine).

The study adds that “philanthropy fatigue” is another factor explaining “the current flattening of pharmaceuticals' ethical reputation” as media coverage of drug donations has reduced lately. “Such stories seem to have lost part of their news worth,” Covalence claims.

Thirdly, the report claims that pharma is better at social rather than environmental criteria, noting that “in the current green era, showing their positive contributions to society is difficult”. The study also notes that “a return of social priorities on top of global political agendas should help them improve their reputation