Bayer chief executive Marijn Dekkers has again spoken about the lack of appreciation  patients have for the life-saving treatments produced by the innovative pharmaceutical industry.

Speaking at the German group's annual press conference in Leverkusen, Dr Dekkers (pictured) said that "almost every day, newspapers publish something about cancer – statistics, the best doctors, the best hospitals, the best treatments". However, "what they don't mention is the molecule, the invention or the scientist behind the invention without which the doctors, hospitals and treatments could not help patients".

He went on to say: "I feel that this lack of appreciation for our ideas and innovations has to change". Dr Dekkers told PharmaTimes that when he goes to his doctor and gets a prescription, "I ask who made it and who invented it and often I get a [blank] stare until they understand what I do for a living".

He went on to say "it shows you that for the patient the transparency of the process behind being cured by a doctor or hospital is just simply not there", which is unfortunate as it affects the reputation of the pharmaceutical industry somewhat. Instead of taking medicines for granted and not showing any interest in who makes them, "we need the doctors and the patients to root for us".

Dr Dekkers went on to tell PharmaTimes that drugmakers have a successful relationship with patient groups, especially those covering chronic diseases where patients are very interested in new treatments, how they work and how they can get access to them. However, the legal restrictions placed on the patient/pharma relationship in many countries means "there are limitations in how much noise we can make about how terrific our products are".