For decades now, the complaint within the UK pharmaceutical industry has always been the same – “no one appreciates the difference we make”. Our medicines save lives, keep people well and stop them getting ill in the first place. Our industry has discovered treatments for diseases that many didn’t think were possible and millions are alive today because of the hard work of our scientists and researchers. Despite this, public trust in the pharmaceutical industry has been comparable to that of broadband providers (no, really). When our work is in the spotlight, chances are it relates to the price of our medicines, not the impact they have on patients. At the last general election, a mainstream political party even suggested creating a publicly owned medicines company, such was the lack of faith in our motives.
All of this is deeply frustrating for those of us who know the truth – that this industry cares about patients, the NHS and the difference our medicines can make to people and their loved ones. We go to work to help those with nowhere else to turn, to keep people well and to help the NHS do its remarkable work.
During this unprecedented crisis, our industry has a choice to make: does it quietly sit by, waiting for the storm to pass or do we harness our expertise, our people and our resources to prove to everyone what we’re really here for?
With thousands of talented people sat at home, empty laboratories across the country and unrivalled expertise of good healthcare, we have a role to play in this critical fight.
Now is the time to scale up our storytelling, not tone it down. Reputations are not made when things are easy, they are made during times of crisis.
What’s more, we should be proudly communicating the role that we are playing to support the NHS against COVID-19. Now is the time to scale up our storytelling, not tone it down. Reputations are not made when things are easy, they are made during times of crisis. Stakeholder will remember those pharmaceutical companies who pitched in and stepped up, and they’ll remember those who sat it out. Now is the time to do what’s required and tell a powerful story whilst doing it.
If we can’t show how valuable we are to the UK now, when can we?