The virus made pharmacists love

The international communications agency Grayling has released a study on the attitude of residents of six countries, including Russia, to the pharmaceutical industry after the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey showed that, in general, the attitude towards pharmacists has improved, however, the share of those who began to treat manufacturers worse than before is also significant. Trust in pharmacists and local vaccines grew most in China, and least in France, Germany and Russia.

Grayling conducted the research with support from Opinium Research. The survey involved 3,000 respondents from six countries – Great Britain, USA, France, Germany, China and Russia. The respondents were asked questions not only about their attitude towards the pharmaceutical industry, but also about the credibility of the COVID-19 vaccines produced in their countries, channels of information about the work of the pharmaceutical industry and aspects of evaluating the performance of companies.

On average, 49% of those surveyed in all six countries said their attitudes towards pharmaceutical companies improved during the COVID-19 pandemic, while 35% said that the pandemic had no effect on their attitudes towards pharmaceutical this industry is worse.

Most of all, the attitude towards pharmacists has improved in China – 89% of respondents, only 2% of Chinese respondents, the attitude has worsened. The most restrained were the French (33% improved their attitude, 41% did not change, 24% worsened) and Germans (35% improved, 44% did not change, 20% worsened). Not far from them were the Russians interviewed – the majority were those whose attitude towards farming has not changed in any way due to the pandemic – 43%. The attitude of 40% of the respondents improved, and it worsened – with 14% of the Russians surveyed. In the United Kingdom and the United States, the figures were distributed approximately the same – 52% of Britons and 46% of Americans began to feel better about pharmaceutical companies, 38% of British and 35% of Americans did not change their attitude, and 10% of British and 17% of Americans got worse.

What the Deloitte survey showed about attitudes towards pharmacists

When asked whether the pharmaceutical industry as a whole has a positive or negative impact on society, 58% of respondents from Russia reported a positive impact, and 16% a negative one. For comparison: the highest level of positive attitude was found in China – 90%, while the world average was about 63%.

In terms of awareness of the activities of pharmaceutical companies in general, more than 84% of Russian adults have heard something about pharmaceutical companies during the pandemic. In assessing their performance, the most important aspect was the safety of pharmaceuticals (85%), followed by fairness in drug prices (76%) and the ethics of the pharmaceutical business (71%). The pandemic has boosted awareness of all of the leading pharmaceutical manufacturers, but AstraZeneca and Pfizer saw the biggest gains, up 22% and 17%, respectively. 76% heard news about pharmaceutical companies on TV, 32% read it in magazine articles, 31% saw it on social networks, in posts from strangers, 30% heard it from friends and family.

With regard to the level of confidence in vaccines produced or invented in their countries, here

The Russians were among the leaders in terms of skepticism towards local vaccines. Only 49% of the Russians surveyed said they trust them.

The attitude towards local vaccines was worse only in Great Britain – the level of confidence was 45%. For comparison: in China this figure is 86%, in Germany, France and the United States – 66%, 63% and 60%, respectively. Grayling researchers note that one of the factors that can increase confidence in vaccines is information about whether the manufacturer is going to benefit from the sale of the drug during a pandemic: 48% of Russians and Americans surveyed said they would believe the vaccine if the manufacturer promises not to extract benefit from it. In the UK, this figure was 46%, in France – 52%, in Germany – 53%, in China – 84%.

Evgeny Khvostik