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Our Pharma: Repurposed? report


Our Pharma: Repurposed? report explores the importance of ‘purpose’ to the pharmaceutical industry and how the sector can convey a more powerful purpose to build trust.

Purpose-led businesses operate in a way that goes beyond profit alone. Their activity is rooted in the best interests of society and strives to create value for multiple stakeholders, not just shareholders.

The pharmaceutical industry has faced several reputational challenges over the years. We develop potentially life-saving medicines but are also for-profit businesses, meaning there has been continued debate around our role in society.

The development of innovative new treatments relies on cross-sector collaborations and public trust and willingness to engage with our sector. Therefore, we firmly believe that, by improving our reputation as an industry, we can deliver better care for patients and save more lives.

This was the inspiration behind our Pharma: Repurposed? report. The report explores the importance of ‘purpose’ to the pharmaceutical industry and provides recommendations for how the sector can communicate a stronger purpose and build trust with the people that use its medicines.

For the report, we commissioned Ipsos MORI in October 2020 to conduct online interviews analysing UK adults’ (aged 16-75) and healthcare professionals’ perceptions of the healthcare industry. In the  interviews among UK adults, when respondents were asked to express their opinion on a range of organisations and roles within the sector, just 38% had a favourable opinion of pharmaceutical companies. However, over a third (36%) had neither a favourable nor unfavourable opinion, suggesting that as an industry we need to increase understanding of our role in society to build trust.

Our work in this area does not end with this report. We are committed to building on our own purposeful activities and acting upon the report recommendations. We also hope that this document will lead to further discussion about how the industry can convey a stronger purpose to build trust with patients and other healthcare organisations. We welcome opportunities to work with others from across the healthcare ecosystem to build positive strategies for the sector.



Date of Preparation: March 2021