Reputation – HCPs: Engagement with the sector

Read more about how healthcare professionals view the relationship between pharmaceutical industry and the healthcare sector

Personal interactions with pharmaceutical employees drives positive sentiment and HCPs’ trust in the sector.

It is clear that the role of pharmaceutical employees, particularly Reps and Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs) are vitally important for reputation building. Over three quarters of HCPs say that they have had contact with a pharmaceutical industry representative over the past twelve months, and nearly all said those interactions were helpful, or essential, for their role as healthcare professionals.

Engagement with the sector

In the past 12 months, have you had any face-to-face or verbal contact with any of the following employees of a pharmaceutical company?

How valuable would you say your
interactions with them are:

HCPs see pharmaceutical companies as reliable sources of information about the sector itself. However, academic and scientific journals are more likely to be regarded as reliable.

Which of these sources of information do you find most reliable? (%)

ABPI Code of Practice and Disclosure UK

The ABPI Code of Practice sets out requirements for the pharmaceutical industry, and supports companies committing to self-regulation and to operate in a professional, ethical, and transparent manner.

Just over half of healthcare professionals were familiar with the code (60% knew at least a little). Those familiar with it rate it highly. Nearly four in five say the code demonstrates commitment to benefitting patients by operating in an ethical manner, and the majority say it is relevant (71%), credible (69%), or useful (68%).

“It ensures transparency, that is why [Pharmaceutical companies operating in the UK] did it in the first place, why they banned drug reps giving out gifts…they have got to be prescribing in a way that is cost-effective and best for the whole population, really.”

The ABPI Disclosure UK Database is less known by HCPs, and there are still some perceived barriers to transparency

The Disclosure UK database was created by the ABPI to make the relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and HCPs open and transparent to the public. Only a third of HCPs are familiar with the programme. However, in the latest year of ABPI data to be published, of those HCPs who work with pharmaceutical companies on non-R&D collaborations, nearly seven in ten agreed to be named on Disclosure UK. However, during depth interviews, HCPs were supportive of the database, but acknowledged that there are still some barriers to disclosure.

What do you think are the main reasons that healthcare professionals in general do not disclose payments and / or benefits in kind? (%)

Last modified: 20 September 2023

Last reviewed: 20 September 2023