Planet pharma: what the industry got out of COVID – podcast

After nearly two years of COVID, how is the pharmaceutical industry faring? In this episode of The Conversation Weekly, we explore where drug companies were before the arrival of COVID and how they performed financially during the pandemic. And we hear about the ongoing tensions between profits and equitable access to vaccines.

Ray Moynihan, assistant professor at the Institute for Evidence-Based Healthcare at Bond University in Australia, thinks pharmaceutical companies’ reputation was so low “because their marketing behaviour was just increasingly seen as out of control”. He says companies’ influence over doctors and medical science and “the exorbitant prices they were charging”, combined with some large fines for fraud, had driven down the reputation of the industry.

There are signs, however, that the successful race to make a COVID vaccine boosted the industry’s reputation. In a US survey by Harris Poll in February 2021, 62% of respondents rated the pharmaceutical industry positively – up from 32% in January 2020.

But what about the financial performance of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies? “The big picture is nuance,” explains Jérôme Caby, professor of corporate finance at Sorbonne Business School in Paris, France. While some companies have been very successful, others have lost a lot of money, he says. Caby looked at the profitability of the world’s ten biggest pharmaceutical companies for The Conversation…

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Source- The Conversation, December 2, 2021 (Under Creative Commons Licence)

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Neeraj Nanda

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