Recently, issues have arisen arguing that large pharmaceutical companies exist simply to steal our money and endanger the poor by immensely skyrocketing prices of pharmaceuticals. Most of this is a result of Martin Shkreli, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, who drastically increased the price of Daraprim from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill. As a result, the general public was outraged and other large pharmaceutical companies attempted to distance themselves from the actions of Shkreli. Merck CEO Ken Frazier spoke on behalf of the pharmaceutical company when he said:
“I think it is really important to our industry to make it clear that he is not us. We are a research-based pharmaceutical industry.”
When one scandal occurs in the pharmaceutical business, it tarnishes the entire industry. Part of this is likely due to the fact that many people have a natural disdain or distrust for the pharmaceutical industry. Medicine is expensive, treatments are expensive, and many die daily due to the inability to afford pharmaceuticals or treatments. When a mess up occurs in this sector, the public just marks it as another flaw of “big pharma.”
As a result, large pharmaceuticals have a bad reputation, and it is up to them to help instill faith in the general public and rebuild that reputation. How they do that is still up for debate.
See John LaMattina, Big Drug Companies Should Secede From The Pharmaceutical Research And Manufacturers Of America, Forbes Magazine: Pharma & Healthcare (Jan. 27, 2017).