The biopharmaceutical industry continues to maintain a positive reputation among key stakeholders, according to new research from the APCO Insight division of APCO Worldwide—although opportunities exist to further improve key stakeholders’ perceptions of the industry.

According to Chrystine Zacherau, senior director of healthcare research at APCO Insight, “In particular, stakeholders express a desire to see the industry play a larger role in working to address pressing, long-term public health issues and exceed expectations in the areas of sustainable innovation and disease awareness.”

Chronic disease management, research transparency and advocacy are some of the key areas where stakeholders would like to see the industry do more to demonstrate its commitment as a leader in addressing critical public health concerns.

The findings are the result of a study that gathered the opinions of healthcare opinion leaders, health care providers, policy leaders and payers. Using APCO’s proprietary Return on Reputation Indicator model, these opinions were scored along 28 key factors that drive the industry’s reputation.

“This has been a pivotal time for the biopharmaceutical industry and greater healthcare industry in the United States,” said Stig Albinus, global leader of APCO’s healthcare practice. “The biopharmaceutical industry has stepped up to meet stakeholders’ expectations over the past two years by being responsive to their concerns and working responsibly to improve health care.

“With the ROR Indicator, we can show senior communication and business leaders in the industry how they can continue to meet and exceed these expectations by better communicating about their innovative products and solutions to address some of society’s  long-term public health problems.”

The ROR Indicator model is designed to help companies see quantitatively how a change in reputation can impact a number of business outcomes such as consumer behavior, prescribing behavior, community activism, government policy, the litigation environment and financial return.

Among the key findings from the report is that a one-point increase in the reputation index translates into business outcomes such as the following:
• A 0.13 percent increase in market capitalization, roughly more than a $150 million for the average biopharmaceutical firm.
• A 1.1 percent increase in sales for the average biopharmaceutical company.
• An increase of more than 550,000 patients who are likely to ask their doctor about a company’s medicine.
• An increase of more than 975,000 people who are likely to support and defend the industry in the event of a crisis.
• A 0.5 percent increase in the number of policy leaders who support the most important policy issues facing the industry.