Chapter 41: The Pharmaceutical Industry: R&D to Rx
The pharmaceutical industry is changing dramatically. It is distrusted by the general public. The public also want generics which used to be viewed as vultures. Now insurance companies are incentivizing people to buy generics. To add to all this, the companies are generally unknown because the public relations efforts are aimed at the specific drugs rather than at the company. In this new world, companies must quickly elevate the role of public relations and recognize that powerful forces—policymakers, patient and public interest advocates, managed care groups, activists and the media—are taking control and exerting greater influence on the business of selling pharmaceuticals. These groups, among others, accuse the industry of indifference toward patients, price gouging and deprivation of patients who are poor or lack insurance of the medicines their physicians prescribe. They are also restricted from using social media to market FDA-regulated drugs. To add to all this, many pharmaceutical mergers have come about. The costs of drugs, the high cost of R&D, and health care reform proposals make the job of the PR professional difficult. As the old messages no longer work, they are developing new messages, such as direct to consumer marketing and off-label marketing. There remains the question as to whether the traditional view of drug over corporate reputation is the right way to go.
Elliot Schreiber Biography