A meeting named “Can the Pharmaceutical Industry protect its reputation” by the Russian Association of Pharmaceutical Marketing (RAFM) took place in Moscow on October 26. PR and GR specialists and industry’s media discussed a number of issues of the current perception of the industry the media and the general public, as well as mechanisms to control the industry’s appearance.
“The perception of the pharmaceutical industry not as a partner, but as a business that profits off patients is not solely a Russian problem, but also an issue of European countries,” said ARPM Director General, Victor Dmitriev.
“There is a competition between generic producers and companies that make original products, between those that work the full production cycle and those that only package medicines in Russia. These and other industry’s inner conflicts are being exposed and cause negative reports in the news. Many news media quote the head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia (FAS) that prices for one particular medicine could vary significantly. However, no one remembers the fact that the FAS dispelled the myth that Russia has the highest prices for medicines. According to the analysis based on the seventh most expensive diseases 43 referent countries there was not a single product identified with the price being the highest in Russia over other countries. No one also mentioned that based on the value added the pharmaceutical industry of Russia is the second largest driver of the economy after the IT industry,” Mr. Dmitriev.
The positive image of the industry depends on the pharmaceutical community itself. “We need to develop an informational policy, with the key aspects of positioning in media, as well as to decide which issues are to be discussed strictly inside the professional community and which ones to discuss with the general public,” Mr. Dmitirev.
CEO of Ipsos Health, Co-chair of the coordinating council of the RAFM, Oleg Feldman supported the proposition of Mr. Dmitriev to create a platform for representatives of the pharmaceutical business in order to have a consolidated position on certain issues. The executive director of the AIPM, Vladimir Shipkov also spoke about the necessity for the pharmaceutical industry to have a consolidated position not only with the media but also with the regulatory authorities.
Chief editor of the newspaper "Pharmaceutical Bulletin”, German Inozemtsev recommended pharmaceutical producers to clearly separate the work with the professional community and with the public opinion.