By forming relationships with advocacy organizations, pharmaceutical companies can better serve their target patient populations, which in turn will give them allies in the court of public opinion.
Pharmaceutical companies are in the middle of a public-relations crisis. In recent years, consumer media reports have been full of topics related to drug pricing, reimportation, unethical sales tactics, drug recalls, and corporate scandals.
According to Harris Interactive’s annual survey, which measures how 15 different industries are rated in terms of serving their customers, the news is not good for the healthcare industry. In this year’s survey, 44% of all adults think pharmaceutical companies are doing a good job for their consumers; 48% think they are doing a bad job. In 1997, 79% thought the industry was doing a good job.
The pharmaceutical industry’s efforts to find treatments for diseases and improve the quality of life of patients are unparalled. With such a good mission, why is the industry’s reputation slipping? Public-relations experts say the pharmaceutical industry needs to better communicate its story of good will and positive achievements. One way this can be accomplished is through partnerships with patient and consumer-advocacy organizations…
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Experts on this Topic
John Deats. PR Practice Leader, GSW Worldwide, Westerville, Ohio; GSW is an independent healthcare advertising agency and a subsidiary of inChord Communications Inc. For more information, visit gsw-w.com.
Eve Dryer. President, Vox Medica Healthcare Public Relations, Philadelphia; Vox Medica is a healthcare and medical communications company providing advertising and strategic marketing, graphic design, interactive media development, and public relations. For more information, visit voxmedica.com.
Brad Fay. Managing Director, NOP World Consumer, Princeton, N.J.; NOP World Consumer, a United Business Media company with headquarters in New York, is one of the world’s top 10 global market research organizations. For more information, visit nopworld.com.
Marita Gomez. Partner, HealthInfo, Schaumburg, Ill.; HealthInfo is a division of HealthInfo Direct LLC, an integrated direct-marketing group that specializes in coordinated communication programs. For more information, visit healthinfodirect.com.
Jeff Hoyak. Executive VP, MCS PR, Bedminster, N.J.; MCS is a healthcare public relations and marketing communications company. For more information, visit mcspr.com.
Marcia A. Kean. CEO, Feinstein Kean Healthcare, Cambridge, Mass.; FKH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, specializes in integrated corporate and product communications for the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. For more information, visit fkhealth.com.
Julie A. Laitin. President, Julie A. Laitin Enterprises Inc., New York; Julie A. Laitin is a full-service marketing and public relations firm whose clients include major medical publishers, healthcare agencies, medical-education, Internet, and technology groups. For more information, visit julielaitin.com.
Ilyssa Levins. Managing Director, BrandEdge, New York; BrandEdge, a joint venture between GCI Group and Grey Healthcare Group, is a strategic consulting firm that provides marketing strategy services to pharmaceutical, biotech, diagnostic, and device companies. For more information, visit brandedgeglobal.com.
James Powers. Executive VP, Business Development, PRA International Inc., McLean, Va.; PRA International is a global clinical development organization. For more information, visit prainternational.com.
Michael Rinaldo. Senior VP, Senior Partner, and Director of Healthcare, Fleishman-Hillard Inc., St. Louis; Fleishman-Hillard, a part of Omnicom Group Inc., offers strategic communications counsel to local, national, and international clients. For more information, visit fleishman.com.
Gerald S. Schwartz. President, G.S. Schwartz & Co. Inc., New York; G.S. Schwartz & Co. is a leading midsize independent public-relations agency serving technology, business-to-business, financial services, and consumer clients, both nationally and internationally. For more information, visit schwartz.com.
J. Peter Segall. General Manager of Edelman’s Health Policy and Public Affairs Practice,Washington, D.C.; Edelman is the world’s largest independent public-relations firm. For more information, visit edelman.com.
Jeff Trewhitt. Spokesman, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Washington, D.C.; PhRMA represents the country’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. For more information, visit phrma.org.