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How a Strong Corporate Reputation Drives Healthcare Business

New WE Research Shows Prescribers Are Strongly Influenced by Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies' Reputations

How much does corporate reputation influence healthcare professionals' prescribing decisions?

That proverbial question has been asked by corporate communications leaders at biotech and pharmaceutical companies around the world for years. WE Communications set out to find the answer in its 2023 Global Brands in Motion Heath study: Healthy Reputation: More Than Medicine.

WE learned that when choosing between treatments with similar profiles (such as safety, efficacy and price) healthcare professionals (HCPs) surveyed told us that the No. 1 factor that influences their prescribing decisions is the corporate reputation of the biotech or pharmaceutical company behind the treatment. Equally important: A poor corporate reputation can negatively impact an HCP’s decision to prescribe or recommend. Sixty-five percent of HCPs say that they would be reluctant to prescribe a medicine from a company that does not have a good reputation. When we broke this finding down by country, we saw significant consistency, with the majority of respondents in each of the six countries where the survey was conducted agreeing with this statement.

We also learned that according to the HCPs surveyed, corporate reputation is even more influential in informing their prescribing decision than their relationship with the biotech or pharmaceutical sales representative. Sixty percent of HCPs said corporate reputation is very influential, compared with 29% who said the same thing about their relationships with sales representatives.

Most Important Factors

What informs an HCP's perception of corporate reputation? HCPs told us that these are the most important factors, in order of priority:

  • The quality of educational content the company shares
  • Relationships with patient advocacy groups or other meaningful healthcare organizations
  • Executive leaders being visible and thought leaders
  • The company’s relationship with and how they partner with HCPs that other HCPs respect or admire
  • Investment in environmental and social issues

Corporate reputation is a business driver. Companies need to prioritize investing in building and protecting their reputation. Failing to do so means missing out on activating an impactful lever or, worse yet, risking potentially negatively impacting your business.

Our hope for these findings is that they help equip corporate communicators to make the case internally for the funding and resources necessary to build and protect their company’s corporate reputation. We also want it to serve as a reminder to biotech and pharmaceutical companies to develop strong lines of communication with HCPs. Don’t assume HCPs know or see what you are doing. The more you invest in communicating with them, the more they will be inclined to prescribe or recommend your products and treatments.

Read the full 2023 Global Brands in Motion Heath Study: Healthy Reputation: More Than Medicine.

March 13, 2023

Stephanie Marchesi
President, Global Health and NA Eastern Region