Commentary| Volume 56, ISSUE 8, P539, October 15, 2004

Ensuring public trust

      It takes only a glance at recent headlines to realize that the pharmaceutical industry has suffered a stunning loss of public trust. Formerly well-respected for producing life-saving medicines, the pharmaceutical industry is now slipping into a realm of suspicion once reserved for tobacco and oil companies. In a recent Harris poll, only 13% of respondents thought pharmaceutical companies were “honest” and “trustworthy.” Of 15 industries ranked annually, the pharmaceutical industry has fallen furthest in the past seven years, from a consumer confidence rating of 79% in 1997, to 44% in 2004. ( = 467).
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