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Business & Regulation Business Practice, Trends & Forecasts

In Pharma We (Don’t) Trust

The 2018 Trust Barometer Survey from PR and marketing firm Edelman reports that trust in pharma in the US has seen the biggest drop yet in the five years since they started tracking it. Edelman assesses consumer trust in a variety of sectors, including the media, government, and healthcare, with pharma forming one sub-sector of the Health category. A 13-point drop in trust from 51 in 2017 to 38 in 2018 percent saw the pharma industry go from neutral into firmly distrusted territory – and pharma was also the least trusted sub-sector of healthcare in general. Internationally, consumer feeling towards pharma remained unchanged, at a neutral 55 percent – but across the globe, 80 percent of respondents reported that they felt that pharma companies placed profits ahead of patients, and 17 of 28 markets surveyed saw trust in healthcare overall decline (1).

It wasn’t bad news in all markets – South Korea and Japan both saw significant increases in trust in pharmaceuticals, due to factors including adoption of anti-corruption regulations, new medicines becoming available, and marketing reforms.

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About the Authors

Roisin McGuigan

I have an extensive academic background in the life sciences, having studied forensic biology and human medical genetics in my time at Strathclyde and Glasgow Universities. My research, data presentation and bioinformatics skills plus my ‘wet lab’ experience have been a superb grounding for my role as a Deputy Editor at Texere Publishing. The job allows me to utilize my hard-learned academic skills and experience in my current position within an exciting and contemporary publishing company.


Joanna Cummings

A former library manager and storyteller, I have wanted to write for magazines since I was six years old, when I used to make my own out of foolscap paper and sellotape and distribute them to my family. Since getting my MSc in Publishing, I’ve worked as a freelance writer and content creator for both digital and print, writing on subjects such as fashion, food, tourism, photography – and the history of Roman toilets. Now I can be found working on The Analytical Scientist, finding the ‘human angle’ to cutting-edge science stories.

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