Report published by PatientView,              June 2016


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  • Publication date: 
  • Monday,  13th June 2016

About this report

London, Monday, 13th June 2016. This report is based on the findings of a PatientView November 2015-January 2016 survey exploring the views of 60 German patient groups. The report provides feedback (from the perspective of  these patient groups) on the corporate reputation of the pharma industry during 2015, as well as on the performance of 16 pharma companies at six key indicators that influence corporate reputation. Results are compared with those of other countries/geographic regions from the 2015 survey.

For the purposes of this report, the phrase ‘corporate reputation’ is defined as the extent to which pharma companies are meeting the expectations of patients and patient groups.


The six indicators of corporate reputation:

  1. Patient centricity.
  2. Patient information.
  3. Patient safety.
  4. Useful products.
  5. Transparency.  And ...
  6. Integrity.

The 16 companies analysed:

AstraZeneca I Bayer I Boehringer Ingelheim I Bristol-Myers Squibb I Grünenthal I GSK I Janssen I Lilly I Merck & Co I Merck KGaA I Novartis I Pfizer I Roche I Sandoz I Sanofi I  Stada Arzneimittel


“Die neuen, extrem hohen Hepatitis-C-Medikamenten-Preise haben für große Empörung und völliges Unverständnis bei uns gesorgt. Einerseits freut sich meine Organisation über jedes neue, verbesserte Medikament, aber die extremen, unverschämten Preise für die neuen Hep-C-Medikamente haben den Pharmaunternehmen insgesamt einen großen Imageschaden verursacht.”

Regional German patient group specialising in hepatitis and HIV/AIDS

Quote translated: “The new, extremely-high, hepatitis-C drug prices have caused great indignation and a complete lack of understanding among us. On the one hand, my organisation approves of any new, improved medication. But the extreme, outrageous prices for the new hepatitis-C medications have greatly damaged the image of pharmaceutical companies.”



Only 24.5% of the 60 German patient groups told the 2015 ‘Corporate Reputation of Pharma’ survey that the pharma industry as a whole had an “Excellent” or “Good” corporate reputation that year. This was the lowest score reported among the different countries and regions of the world, bar the Netherlands and France (though the equivalent figure from German patient groups responding to the previous year's survey of 2014 was, at 22.0%, even less). The equivalent figure among patient groups worldwide in 2015 was 44.7%—significantly higher.  German patient groups responding in 2015 ranked the pharma industry 7th out of 8 healthcare-industry sectors for corporate reputation—only ahead of for-profit health insurers. Pharma was ranked 5th in 2015's global results.


    Only 20.3% of 2015’s German patient groups said that the pharma industry’s corporate reputation had improved over the previous five years—a slightly higher figure than the 18.6% of German patient groups which said the same in 2014.  However, the equivalent figure from patient groups worldwide in 2015 was 27.5%—significantly higher.


    The German pharma industry’s performance at most company activities was less well regarded by German patient groups in 2015 than in 2014; and when the German results of 2015 are compared with those from patient groups across the world that year, German pharma performs more poorly than pharma worldwide at most corporate activities, including:

    • In 2015, 55% of patient groups from Germany believed that the pharma industry was “Excellent” or “Good” at providing high-quality products. While this may seem a high proportion of patient groups, the equivalent figure from among patient groups worldwide in 2015 was 72%.
    • In common with patient groups from other countries, few German patient groups were convinced that the pharma industry maintained fair pricing policies (only 9% of German patient groups in 2015 described the industry as “Excellent” or “Good” at this activity). The equivalent figure among German patient groups in 2014 was 12%, and the equivalent figure worldwide in 2015 was 15%.
    • Just 15% of patient groups from Germany believed that the pharma industry was “Excellent” or “Good” at having integrity in 2015. The equivalent figure from German patient groups in 2014 was the same (15%), but the equivalent figure worldwide in 2015 was 35%.


    When asked by the ‘Corporate-Reputation’ survey in 2015 to identify the most-important single policy a pharma company can adopt to improve its corporate reputation, German patient groups nominated two policies in first place (each recommended by 19.0% of the 60 German patient groups): ensuring patient safety, and having a fair pricing policy.




      The table shows the 16 pharma companies ranked according to their corporate reputation, as measured by German  patient groups in 2015 (versus in 2014).

      • Janssen's big jump from 10th in the German rankings in 2014 to 1st in 2015 may be due to the fact that issues regarding Olysio, its hepatitis-C drug, were less at the forefront of German patient-group assessment of the company in 2015.  In 2014, the pricing policies of companies producing the new wave of hepatitis-C drugs were highly criticised by German patient groups. Comments received by the 2015 survey, however, show that the subject remains contentious.
      • Of the 60 German patient groups responding to the 2015 survey, 5 stated that they had not worked with any pharma company, and as many as 30 stated that they had worked with only one pharma company. Patient groups in most other countries tend to work with far more pharma companies.


      PatientView is a UK-based research organisation that consults closely with patient groups, and publicises the work of the patient-advocacy movement.