Pfizer had the lowest reputational score among the pharmaceutical companies that Reputation Institute looked at, based on the general public's perception of product, prices and public hospitality. It was reported in May that Pfizer used charity to mask a heart drug price hike. Pfizer also had a huge role in the drug shortage crisis, according to Fortune.
“Pfizer’s reputation has remained consistent since 2017 and is on par with our multinational biopharmaceutical peers given the variance in reputation scores is limited. We look forward to continuing to educate our stakeholders about Pfizer’s mission to discover new medicines and to ensure patients have access to them,” Pfizer representatives said in an email statement to Business Insider.
"At GSK, our purpose is to help people do more, feel better and live longer and we accomplish this with our innovative medicines and vaccines. We have a legacy of ensuring people have access to our medicines and our vaccines, and we lead the pharmaceutical industry in the fight against so-called super bugs – all of which has been recognized by the Access to Medicine Foundation," GSK said in an email statement to Business Insider.
20. Merck. RepTrak Points: 58.4
Famous for drugs like Keytruda, Merck has had a bit of a comeback as a winner at ASCO with its positive melanoma data. But the company has had its share of bad headlines as well. In May 2017, Merck paid $60.2 million to resolve a lawsuit about its practices to delay entrance of generic drugs into the market. Merck was also accused that month of operating an anti-competition scheme. In August 2017, Trump called out Merck's CEO about lowering drug prices and increasing transparency in their operations. Merck, along with GSK and Pfizer were the only pharmaceutical companies to have a "weak" score, while the rest had "average" or "strong" reputations.
AZ, known for producing Crestor – a drug that treats high cholesterol and triglyceride levels – saw a win in lung cancer data in May this year, but suffered a setback from an Alzheimer's drug in June that failed to show signs of working.
15. Eli Lilly. RepTrak Points: 66.0
Lilly is the producer of Cymbalta, a drug widely used for depression. The company was also part of the cohort that had to jump ship on its Alzheimer's drug.
14. Boehringer Ingelheim. RepTrak Points: 66.4
The German pharmaceutical firm manufactures drugs not only for humans but for their pets as well. The company is now partnering up with some other big names to develop anti-diabetic medication.
The Botox-maker has had a rocky relationship with its investors this year. It's been actively refreshing its board, and just last month, it announced its plan to sell off two of its non-core businesses to appease investors. In June, the company presented positive data in a glaucoma candidate and meet goals with its oral migraine drug.
7. Gilead. RepTrak Points: 70.1
Gilead has historically been focused on antiviral drugs to treat diseases like HIV and hepatitis C. But earlier this year, it just made a huge bet on an experimental gene-editing technology for cancer treatments.
The company specializes in treatments for neurodegenerative, blood-based, and autoimmune diseases. Althought it hasn't made many major moves this past year, it's still a major player when it comes to its neuroscience pipeline. Early this year, it sold its hemophilia drug maker company, Bioverativ, to Sanofi for $11.6 billion.
Celgene specializes in drugs for cancer and inflammatory diseases, known for its treatment of multiple myeloma. However, in February, the company hit a major setback with its multiple sclerosis drug.
2. Genentech. RepTrak Points: 74.0
A subsidary of Roche, Genentech is investing in a new way to treat Alzheimer's. It also recently made a $534 million deal with Microbiotica to research gut bacteria in hopes of developing new treatments for inflammatory bowel disease.
1. Sanofi. RepTrak Points: 74.6
Sanofi's winning characteristics lies in its promotion of ethics and transparency, according to Reputation Institute. Sanofi has in the past year promised to limit price increases and disclose "transparency reports" behind overall costs of its drugs.