Through the pandemic, the Pharma, BioTech, and Life Sciences industry transformed from dastardly price hikers to international saviors. The global audience held its breath, watching and waiting for COVID-19 treatments and the vaccine solution. As a result, Pharma’s global reputation score increased from an Average 69.8 in 2020 to a Strong 72.8 in 2021.

Download the full 2021 Pharma Report

But the sentiment isn’t universal. The US had a unique response to the pandemic, and a unique impact on its reputation. US Pharma reputation did increase 3.8 points YoY, but topped out at an Average 67.6 for 2021.

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RepTrak’s reputation scores are calculated based on 7 Key Drivers: Performance, Products/Services, Leadership, Citizenship, Governance, Workplace, and Innovation. To better understand this regional difference, we dug deeper into US Pharma’s individual drivers.

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All US drivers saw improvement, with the most notable increases in Citizenship and Governance.

Citizenship and Governance are based on stakeholders’ perceptions of a company’s:

  • Positive influence on society

  • Environmental responsibility

  • Support for good causes

  • Ethics and fairness in business

  • Openness and transparency

While 2020 left some Americans trepidatious about the vaccine and Pharma activity, there is a generally positive sentiment towards Pharma’s conduct and social involvement – suggesting the public sees Pharma as working towards a “greater good.” 

The US practiced an exceptional skepticism about both the virus and vaccine, had a diverse response in pandemic protocol, has complex access to healthcare, and maintains a broader anti-vax sentiment (those who refuse vaccines of all types). But these overall increases across drivers suggest a cautious optimism towards Pharma, with scores continuing to increase into Q1 2021.

The pandemic isn’t over — stateside or worldwide. As this unique moment in medical history continues to develop, Pharma, BioTech, and Life Science’s ongoing response will be closely monitored by the American public. A hopeful apprehension in the US or raucous approval internationally are not permanent. This reputation check point is an ongoing call to action to meet and exceed expectations in this uncertain time.

To read more about global and US differences in Reputation and ESG, check out our blog.