US Insights

Pharmaceutical Companies Have a Huge Trust Problem

Rachel Gursky

Content Marketing Director

Health 05.09.2017 / 12:00

colorful pills and money

Americans want to be healthy but they don't trust drug companies.

Americans want to be healthier and live longer lives, but their trust in drug companies and the potential solutions their products may offer remains a significant challenge.

According to Kantar Media’s MARS Consumer Healthy Study, Americans are facing serious challenges on an array of health issues. The study results indicate that 1 in 2 adults currently feel somewhat or very stressed, nearly a third suffer from high cholesterol or high blood pressure, 25% are considered obese, and only half are participating in preventative healthcare. 

Health Cholesterol Obesity Graphic

It’s not all bad news, however. Many Americans have a strong desire to do better and take a more active role in their health. 53% report that they try to eat healthy foods and 51% say exercise is an important part of their diet and nutrition plan.

When thinking about the role that pharmaceutical companies play in the health of American adults, our reserach makes clear that pharmaceutical companies may be missing the mark when it comes to effectively communicating with consumers. Only 22% of those surveyed trust the drug companies that advertise the medications they take and only 28% believe pharma ads make them more knowledgeable.

Drug companies also struggle to connect with consumers when it comes to branded drugs. Only 44% agree that prescription drugs are a more effective treatment than over-the-counter drugs and fewer than 1 in 5 consumers think branded medications are worth the cost compared to generics.

It’s no surprise that one of the major hurdles is more about insurance companies than pharmaceutical marketers, with 3 out of 4 saying it’s very important that their health insurance provider cover all their prescription needs. Perhaps if more drugs with high out-of-pocket costs were included on lists approved for coverage by the insurance companies, consumers would feel more positive about Rx and branded Rx.

The positive news is that today’s consumers want to stay informed. Among the U.S. adult population, 42% conduct research to be better informed about their treatment options. That’s a substantial number. So while the marketers on both the pharma and insurance side have some work to do if they want to win over the trust of consumers, it may just be a matter of figuring out the best way to communicate the messages.

Source: Kantar Media

Editor's Notes

Kantar Media’s MARS Consumer Health Study is source for reaching different patient groups and uncovering deep consumer insights. It provides stable and reliable media and health care data that is projectable to the U.S. adult population to better meet the needs of agencies, marketers, healthcare facilities, insurers and media companies. The study contains detailed information including online and offline media.

If you need to reach an audience that is proactive about health or target a variety of key consumer healthcare segments by health attitudes and behaviors, the MARS Consumer Health Study Segmentations are now available:

  • MARS Patient Segmentation - Based on health behavior and attitudes regarding personal health, relationship with HCPs, treatments, prevention activities and health motivators.
  • Sources Valued Segmentation - Based on the value consumers place on various sources for obtaining healthcare information. Channels analyzed for the Sources Valued Segmentation include offline, online, point of care and point of purchase.

Click here to learn more

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