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The rise of the Global Pharma industry - why do perceptions and brand reputation matter today more than ever?

In today’s global market, the global pharma industry plays a crucial role in ensuring the health and well-being of people across the globe. 

Due to factors like aging population, increase in chronic diseases and diabetes, advancements in technology and breakthroughs in drug discovery, the pharmaceuticals market worldwide is projected to grow by 5.39% from 2023-2027, resulting in a market volume of $1435 billion by 2027.

The market attractiveness makes it competitive and with so many companies vying for the top spot, the reputation and perceptions of these companies can become a decisive factor, when it comes to patients choosing their providers, employees – their employers and investors their prospects for investment. 

As a part of Caliber’s recent Global Pharma reputation study, we have surveyed thousands of people from various stakeholder groups in seven countries: Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US to find out which Pharmaceutical companies do they Trust & Like the most.  

This report is based on the insights gathered in 2022 and is based on interviews with more than 17,600 people. The companies included in this report were selected as market leaders in the pharmaceutical sector and are representative of the industry in their respective geographies.

Global Pharma Study Highlights

Global Pharma study: stable perceptions of the pharmaceutical industry amidst inflationary impact

According to the Global Pharma Study, the pharmaceutical industry’s reputation in 2022 was largely influenced by inflation rather than the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

From a global perspective, perceptions of the industry remained relatively stable throughout the year. The yearly Trust Like Score (TLS) for the industry also remained unchanged from 2021.

However, the industry did experience perceptual shifts, particularly early in the year when attention was still high due to the emergence of the Omicron variant dominating headlines.

Geopolitical crisis and financial shifts affect perceptions of the pharma industry

In February, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia triggered a geopolitical conflict that had far-reaching consequences, impacting energy prices and triggering inflation.

As a result, the global focus shifted from the pandemic to this financial and geopolitical crisis, diverting attention somewhat away from the pharmaceutical industry.

Throughout the second half of 2022, major shifts in public perceptions primarily revolved around innovation breakthroughs and financial results.

Complex reputation landscape for the Pharma industry continues in 2023

The complex reputational situation for the pharmaceutical industry is expected to persist in 2023.

Factors such as affordability, access to medicine, financial earnings, ethics, and societal responsibility will continue to impact the industry’s global perception.

Furthermore, there are wide variations in perceptions across different markets, with the pharmaceutical industry having an average reputation globally but displaying significant differences in the average Trust and Like Score (TLS) between countries, with lower scores in Japan and higher scores in Brazil.

Industry strengths and challenges: product innovation vs brand integrity

The Trust and Like Score for the pharmaceutical industry remained steady at an average-tier score of 67 in 2022, similar to pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019.

The industry continues to be perceived favorably in terms of its offering and innovation. However, perceptions of its integrity declined more than other reputation attributes.

Additionally, there was a downward trend in the industry’s overall brand expression, with perceived authenticity, relevance, and inspiration experiencing the most significant decline.

This shift in reputation and brand scores could be linked to the reduced visibility of the industry as the COVID-19 pandemic fades from public debate.

What is Caliber's Trust & Like Score?

Our corporate reputation research model explains the journey from stakeholder interaction to business impact – comprising elements such as awareness, rational perceptions, trust and supportive behavior.

The Trust & Like Score is the ultimate metric that sums up the results of KPI’s which measure factors like perceived offering, innovation, integrity, relevance and many more. 

In simple terms, the Trust & Like Score represents the overall brand reputation health.

Reputation ranking of top Global Pharma companies by Trust & Like Score

“Building a solid reputation in the pharmaceutical industry requires a dedicated effort. The public demands not only cutting-edge innovation and safe, affordable products, but also a strong sense of purpose that extends beyond generating profits for shareholders. Companies like Haleon, Takeda, and Novo Nordisk are among the best-perceived companies in our index because they connect expertise with driving real change for patients. These companies show how they solve societal problems beyond delivering medicine. That is the expectation for pharma companies to build a strong reputation.”

Soren Holm