Attitudes towards pharmaceutical companies in the UK

Welcome to the UK Pharma Reputation Index. This site covers the latest research from the ABPI-Ipsos Attitudes towards pharmaceutical companies in the UK study. Read further to find out more about the reputation of pharmaceutical companies operating in the UK.

This is the third Index in our series.  Access the 2022 and 2021 versions.

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About this study

This study outlines some of the headlines and key insights from three years of research with the public, healthcare professionals and Members of Parliament to find out what they know, think and feel about pharmaceutical companies in the UK – and how this has changed over time.

Our index combines ongoing qualitative and quantitative research with in-depth analysis to bring you a snapshot of the industry’s reputation.  Whether you’re interested in what the general public and other stakeholders understand about the sector or their views on granular issues around transparency, access to medicines, innovation and patient focus and more, you will find useful insights here.


My name is Tom Fife-Shaw, Research Director at Ipsos Corporate Reputation.

I'm delighted to introduce the third wave of the ABPI Ipsos Pharma Reputation Index.

Since 2021, we've conducted research with the public, healthcare professionals, and parliamentarians to understand what they know about pharmaceutical companies operating in the UK and what they think and feel about them.

We've collected quant key performance indicators to track the sector's reputation over time at a high level.

Is it known? Is it liked and is it trusted? And how does that compare with other sectors?

We've also explored perceptions of the work pharma companies do, their intentions and how they are seen to behave in order to understand what might explain those KPIs.

The topics and themes we've explored in this work are often complex.

Using focus groups and indepth interviews, we've augmented our statistics with nuanced granular insights to get a deeper understanding of how people have formed their views of pharma companies.

That is, the information, the experiences, the assumptions, the memories and the feelings that underpin their points of view.

As you'll see in our index, we know that citizens and stakeholders alike tend to agree that the sector makes safe and effective medicines that people need using cutting edge technology.

Indeed, the idea of innovation is often a top of mind association with pharma for most audiences.

Now, people remain positive about the sector's actions during the pandemic.

And with that in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising that seven in ten members of the public trust pharmaceutical companies operating in the UK to be willing to tackle future pandemics.

But we also know that despite the heightened profile of pharma in recent years, it isn't really any better known or particularly well understood, sometimes even by the stakeholders who might come into contact with pharma companies more often.

In the absence of detailed knowledge, there is sometimes an assumption that the sector lacks transparency.

This, in turn then colours their views of big, complex and emotive topics such as drug pricing or access to medicines and vaccines.

This index provides some food for thought for the sector on how it might capitalise on its reputational strengths, but also what it might need to do in order to address areas of relative reputational weakness.

How can it best demonstrate the value of its medical innovations and the value it brings to the UK economy and society?

And importantly, what might get people's attention?

We hope you find this index a useful resource that piques your interest.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, suggestions for future measurement, we'd love to hear from you. Thank you.

Reputation Snapshot

Many assumptions are made about the reputation of the pharmaceutical industry. Here we explore what citizens know, think and feel about the sector – and why it matters. Shaped by a spectrum of memories, assumptions, and associations, we look into long-held assumptions about the sector’s reputation. Our index shows how the sector is seen from the outside – and the opportunities and challenges this brings.  

General Public

The events during the COVID-19 pandemic challenged long-held beliefs and highlighted the technological and scientific prowess inherent in the sector.

Despite this increased visibility, the UK public still has limited knowledge and understanding of the sector. As society moves on from the seismic events caused by the pandemic, recall and attention for pharmaceutical innovation is less top of mind.

But, is this changing how people feel about it? Read more to find out what people think about the sector and why.

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Members of Parliament

Understanding the views of legislators is critical to understanding the industry’s ‘licence to operate’ in the UK. Policy makers’ views have been scrutinised just as much as those of the public. Here, we’ll uncover the reputation of the sector in Westminster and how it’s evolved in the wake of the pandemic.

Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professionals (HCPs) are often closer to the pharmaceutical industry than the other audiences in this study. Here, we explore what they think of the sector, how they rate their interactions with it and how their views have evolved throughout since 2021.

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Covid-19 Impact

The pandemic shone a spotlight on pharma. Our research looks at whether the shifts in how the public viewed the sector early in the pandemic have resulted in longer-term reputational gains.  

General Public

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Using data collected since 2020, we’ve analysed how the sector’s response to COVID shaped public opinion and what this might mean for the sector’s reputation in the longer term.


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Read further to understand how COVID-19 has shaped opinion of the sector in Westminster and how this has evolved since 2021.


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We’ve asked a range of HCPs what they think about the sector’s response to the pandemic and assessed the extent to which this is shaping their perceptions of the sector.

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Research Methods

We used different research methodologies to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the industry’s reputation. Click on the link below to find more details.


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Thomas Fife-Schaw
Research Director
Ipsos MORI

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Jill Pearcy
Director Reputation